Family raises money for turtles
CINDY LANE | SUN
In back, Heather Vecsey, 14, with her cousins; center row
from left, Eric Palmer, 8, Anderson Palmer, 7, Lincoln Palmer, 5,
and in front, Elizabeth Palmer, 3, showing the stuffed hatching turtles
they’ve been selling and the $600 check they presented to
Turtle Watch last week.
HOLMES BEACH – When the Palmer family saw a sea turtle nest hatch last year, they tossed some money in the Turtle Watch donation bucket, but it just didn’t seem like enough.
“We wanted to do more,” said Eric Palmer, 8, one of four siblings plus a cousin who have been selling stuffed sea turtles ever since to raise money for the organization, which has protected sea turtles on Anna Maria Island for 28 years.
Last week, wearing family reunion T-shirts sporting sea turtles, the kids and their parents, Chris and Heather Palmer with cousin Heather Vecsey, donated $600 to Turtle Watch at a nest in front of the Bali Hai resort.
Next year, the goal is $1,000, said Anderson Palmer, 7.
“We want to protect them because they can’t protect themselves,” he said.
The Palm Harbor kids buy the turtles from Eric’s music teacher, then sell them to people all over the Island when they visit. According to their mom, they’re learning about math, profit and loss, bookkeeping, inventory and, most importantly, concern for other living things.
The effort was inspired by Glenn Wiseman, the education coordinator for Turtle Watch, a former teacher who patiently explains turtle tidbits to kids on the beach, she said.
See Anna Maria Sun on facebook for Eric’s video demonstrating how the turtles work, and visit the family’s facebook page, “peaceloveturtles,” and the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring website, http://islandturtlewatch.com.