Before the world went on lockdown, Turtles Fly Too hosted an incredible fly-in event in North Palm Beach, Florida. On February 29th, fifty pilots and guests from around the US flew in for a day focused on the turtles. Unlike the volunteer pilots’ normal days working with Turtles Fly Too on turtle transports, this event was a day to say thank you to our Turtle Fliers and teach the general public about our organization.
To kick the morning off, presentations by our President Leslie Weinstein and Executive Director Bonnie Barnes were held to welcome our guests and introduce Turtles Fly Too. Guest presenters Kelli O’Donnell from NOAA, and Heather Clarchick from Sea Turtle Adventures, highlighting their organizations’ work and partnership with Turtles Fly Too. After a morning of presentations, guests enjoyed a catered lunch prepared by a guest chef Alexis Herrera visiting from Key Largo, Florida. This relaxing time allowed individuals to chat amongst fellow pilots and Turtle Fliers. It also allowed individuals time to place their bid on silent auction items worth more than $2,500 collectively. Once silent auction items were announced, guests were provided transportation to Loggerhead Marine Life Center for a VIP tour of the facilities.
We would like to give a huge thank you to Kelli O’Donnell from NOAA who provided immense support by organizing the event and collecting silent auction items; Sea Turtle adventures who assisted in arranging the day and transportation; Juan Cabrera from Signature Flight Support for providing the hanger and staff support at F45 in North Palm Beach for the fly-in; Bose who provided technical support and $700 worth of silent auction items; Chef Alexis Herrera for preparing the delicious food; and all of our silent auction donors including Kelli from NOAA, Sea World, Mote Marinelab, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Gulf World Marine Institute, Florida Aquarium, and Sherry Schubert for her hand-crocheted turtle.
This was a fun-filled day combining the two worlds we hold dearest to our hearts: aviation and conservation. Check out the video filmed and produced by special guest attendee Steve Nazer (aka Steveo1kenovo) capturing the fun on the day of the event on YouTube (click here to watch) which now has over 360,000 views.
We look forward to our next fly-in where we hope to see you all there. For more information on the Fly-In event or if you would like to host a Turtles Fly Too Fly-In event contact us at info@TurtlesFlyToo.org.
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