Mascots of all shapes, sizes, and species raced down Siesta Beach on March 7 to promote Mote Marine Laboratory’s upcoming Run for the Turtles.

Sarasota High School’s Sailor Sam outran eight other mascots: Morris from Great Explorations Children’s Museum, Mote’s own Shelley the Sea Turtle and Gilly the Shark, Sailor Sally from Sarasota High School, Remy the Armadillo from Ringling College of Art and Design, Super Tooth from Varone Orthodontics, Maverick the Manatee from State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota, and Floody the Frog from Sarasota County.

Shelley the Sea Turtle and Gilly the Shark are grateful that the mascots helped raise awareness today for sea turtle conservation ahead of Mote’s 38th Annual Run for the Turtles. The run is a 5K/1-mile fundraiser on April 6 at Siesta Public Beach, raising funds for Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program. Mote coordinates the conservation of endangered sea turtles along 35 miles of Sarasota County beaches.

“Run for the Turtles is Mote’s longest-standing fundraiser; we have been monitoring and protecting endangered sea turtles along local beaches for 42 years, and the Run raises thousands of dollars each year for this important service,” said Dr. Jake Lasala, Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program Manager. “It’s wonderful that so many local organizations helped us spread the word through this mascot race. They made us laugh while doing some serious good.”

About Mote’s 38th Annual Run for the Turtles

Mote’s Run for the Turtles will take place on Saturday, April 6. It will kick off with on-site registration at 6:30 a.m. at the Sea Turtle Pavilion on Siesta Public Beach. The 1-mile Fun Run or Walk will start at 7:30 a.m., and the 5K Manasota Track Club-Sanctioned Run will start at 8 a.m.

There is still time to register! Currently, over 500 people have registered to run, but Mote expects to sell out soon.
•    To register, visit

To make a gift supporting Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program, visit


About Mote: Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is an independent, nonprofit, 501(c)3 research institution founded in 1955. Mote began and flourished through the passion of a single researcher, Dr. Eugenie Clark, her partnership with the community and philanthropic support, first of the Vanderbilt family and later of the William R. Mote family.

Today, Mote is based in Sarasota, Florida, with five campuses stretching from Sarasota to the Florida Keys. Mote has more than 20 world-class research programs studying oceans locally to internationally, with an emphasis on conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. Mote’s vision includes positively impacting public policy through science-based outreach and education. Showcasing the Lab’s research is Mote Aquarium, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year. Learn more at

Contact Us:

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, Fla., 34236. 941.388.4441

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