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Explorers donate to firefighters foundation

By Staff | Aug 1, 2013

Capt. Steve Yetsko and visitors from all over the world head out on the Nature & SeaLife Cruise.

Nineteen Granite Mountain Hotshot Firefighters were killed fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona on June 30.

When the owners of Tarpon Bay Explorers heard about this tragedy they decided it was time for another fundraiser. On Saturday, July 20, the Explorers set out to get as many people as possible out on the tours and rentals that day so they could donate all the tour and rental revenues to the Wildland Firefighters Foundation (“http://www.wffoundation.org”>www.wffoundation.org).

The day started with full standup paddleboard and kayak eco-tours. Janice, Heidi and Lauren of the Southwest Florida Standup Paddleboard Club launched to paddle to Blind Pass and the club donated $100.

In the afternoon the Howard family rented kayaks and donated an additional $100 on top of the rental fee. The final program of the day was the sunset evening cruise at 6 p.m.

The total of all revenues and additional donations for the day at Tarpon Bay was $5,070.90. The US Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Parks Service held a chili cook-off fundraiser at the Golden Gate Fire Department the same day and raised just over $6,000.

USFWS and Tarpon Bay Explorers staff with the donation check for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

So, the total fundraising efforts generated more than $11,000.

For more information on the tours and rentals offered at Tarpon Bay Explorers call (239) 472-8900 or visit www.tarponbayexplorers.com.

Naturalist and Paddlefit certified SUP instructor Wendy Rex with two of her tour participants.