Wednesday, July 27, Lexi Mariash, a local 13-year-old philanthropist, presented Mote Marine Laboratory with a check for $6,898 to benefit sea turtle conservation and research.

Mariash raised the funds at her second annual mini-golf tournament to benefit Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program, which has coordinated sea turtle conservation for more than 30 years along 35 miles of Sarasota County beaches.

Mariash, who organized the event, is the founder and CEO of Turtle Inc., a non-profit company focused on raising sea turtle conservation awareness. This year’s event, which took place in May, supported Mote’s sea turtle research and conservation efforts, as well as the work of Easter Seals Southwest Florida, a nonprofit that helps support disabled children and adults in the local community.

Over 150 people gathered at Evie’s on the Green in May to play mini-golf and help raise money for sea turtles.

“It was a fantastic day and it was so great to see so many young people excited about being active and giving back to the sea at the same time,” said Mote’s Chief Development Officer, Erin Kabinoff, who attended the tournament to express Mote’s gratitude for Lexi’s support.

Turtle, Inc. raised $6,898 from the event. Funds from the tournament were split equally between Mote and Easter Seals. Funds for Mote were matched 100 percent by the national, youth-centric nonprofit Positive Tracks. The total $6,898 will help deepen the global impact of Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program.

“Lexi is such an inspiration to us all and a great example of next generation philanthropists who can make a difference,” Kabinoff said. “Mote is extremely thankful for her ambition and support of sea turtle conservation and research, which is especially helpful during sea turtle nesting season from May through October.”