Bradenton Christian School’s sixth grade class raised $876 to benefit Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Hospital.

The class held a fundraiser April 21 and 22 and sold baked goods and turtle-themed merchandise. All proceeds from the fundraiser were given to the hospitals at Mote, which has cared for 562 sea turtles since 1995. This critical care means much more than helping an animal in need — it also supports a better understanding of marine animal health, helping to inform both veterinary care and conservation of these animals in the wild.

Students presented Mote staff members with a check on May 23 at the Bradenton Christian School’s Middle School Awards Program. Lynne Byrd, Mote’s Rehabilitation and Medical Care Coordinator; Jenna Rouse, Mote’s Animal Care Technician; and Cyndi Seamon, Vice President Longboat Key Turtle Watch, received the check and thanked students for their work and concern for endangered animals.

“We are extremely thankful for this great group of students who are so passionate about spreading awareness of these endangered animals,” Byrd said. “We are also thankful for Bradenton Christian School‘s continued support, which makes an impact on our sea turtle rehabilitation efforts and allows us to return injured turtles back to the wild.”

In honor of the students’ efforts, Mote offered for the students to name the newest sea turtle the hospital just received, which is a loggerhead that stranded in Boca Grande and was transported to Mote May 22 with some minor, old wounds on its head and carapace. Upon arrival, the animal was covered in epibiota (barnacles and algae) and was very lethargic. The class named the turtle “Tucker B”.