On December 17th, the CMA announced it was expanding yet again, thanks to the Richard O. Jacobson Foundation. The Foundation recently made CMA history with the largest single donation the aquarium has ever received: a cool $1 million. “It’s a pleasure to be involved with an organization such as this,” says 73 year old Richard “Dick” Jacobson, a Clearwater resident seven months out of the year.
The Foundation will give the CMA $250,000 in two installments, which will be used to provide a new home for Winter, to make capitol improvements, and to expand animal care. Winter's new home will include a 145,000 gallon dolphin pool for Winter and her adopted mother Panama. When necessary, the new pool will also double as a quarantine area for stranded mammals.
The remaining $750,000 of the donation will go toward the purchase of an adjoining property, for further expansion of the CMA. Plans for this purchase are already underway.
“If you talk about things and believe in things, you can make things happen,” says CMA board member Frank Chivas of the aquarium’s remarkable expansion, which has been in the works for over 5 years.
“We are very grateful to the Jacobson Foundation for supporting our cause and believing wholeheartedly in our work,” said CMA CEO David Yates. “This will allow us to continue to grow our important mission of helping sick or injured marine life.”
The Jacobson Foundation is making this donation on the basis of matching the CMA's other fund-raising efforts dollar-for-dollar – stressing community involvement in the aquarium’s expansion. “I want the people to get involved with it,” says Jacobson. “I know we’ve got a great community here and we’ll get the job done. This is just how we do it in Clearwater.”
The aquarium has already raised over $95,000 toward matching the first $125,000 installment. Construction on Winter’s new home is already underway and is targeted for completion on February 15th.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a non-profit working animal hospital committed to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick or injured marine life. Visit http://www.seewinter.com/ for more information.