Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is honored to announce the continued support of its programs from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, with a recent partnership grant for $55,000 for the upcoming season. Support comes from two funds at the Community Foundation, the Martha Leiter and Nancy Streeman Fund III and the Walter Haskins Fund in memory of Stacey K. Haskins, and will go a long way towards supporting Mote’s ongoing mission of advancing marine research, conservation and education.

“The Community Foundation is once again proud to support a local leader with a national reputation in marine research and education,” said Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “Their commitment to providing access to marine science education and experiences to all, including underserved youth and young women, is unparalleled, and with this partnership grant, we look forward to another year of being a part of the positive impact Mote has on our community and beyond.”

This year’s grant will provide support for several Mote programs, including the Strategic Partnerships Program, Mote Education’s community-based marine science education program for underserved and underrepresented children, youth and special-needs adults.  This outreach program takes science programming developed at Mote directly to these audiences and provides customized, age-appropriate content to best serve our Strategic Partners and their constituents. Representative partners include: AMI Kids, Booker High School, The Boys & Girls Club, Children First, Easter Seals, Girls Inc., Just for Girls, Oak Park School, R.L. Taylor Community Center and others. Mote also serves children in the program through a branched partnership between the YMCA and area schools, including Fruitville, Gocio and Wilkinson Elementary Schools.

Support will benefit Mote Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) student intern Maria Shehata, the recipient of Mote’s Eugenie Clark Marine Research Fellowship. This fellowship gives a promising young woman the opportunity to advance her research skills and experience through a four-year undergraduate internship at Mote. Ms. Shehata, who is Egyptian, started her internship with Mote last year thanks to the support of the Community Foundation and this year’s grant again provides support for her continued internship with Mote. An incoming sophomore at New College, Ms. Shehata is also the recipient of a Daughters for Life scholarship. This fall, Ms. Shehata will be working in the lab of Dr. Emily Hall, who leads Mote’s Ocean Acidification research program.

Lastly, this grant allows for sponsorship support of several keystone Mote events, including Oceanic Evening, Tea for the Sea, World Oceans Day, and Teach-A-Kid Fishing and Ecology Clinic. Oceanic Evening, Mote’s premiere black-tie fundraising gala, takes place on October 27, 2018, and the remaining events take place throughout 2019.

“Mote Marine Laboratory deeply values the support of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County,” says Erin Kabinoff, Mote’s Director of Development. “The Community Foundation’s commitment to Mote’s mission ensures we are able to provide opportunities for the next generation of women interested in science and increase access to marine science programming for children and youth in our community.

About the Community Foundation: The Community Foundation is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of over $333 million in more than 1,300 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $33 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. For more information, visit

The logo of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County predominately features its name topped by symbol that looks like an origami triangle: 3 sided it folds into itself creating a circle of support.