An integral part of the mission of the Marco Island Shell Club is to "promote the study, conservation, science, history and appreciation of seashells and mollusks in all their forms..." The Club depends upon the proceeds from the holiday sale in late fall and the annual Shell Show in March to underwrite scholarships and grants.
Based on income from its 2017-2018 season, the club will fund research costs for two students at the University of South Florida, one doctoral and one master's degree candidate, whose investigations are focused in molluscan biology and conservation. The endowed scholarship funds at Florida Gulf Coast University will continue to provide one undergraduate research scholarship and one graduate competitive research scholarship to students majoring in marine or environmental science. Club members are pleased and proud that their efforts enable the club to support such outstanding young adults who will hopefully be our future researchers, teachers, and scientists.
The club will continue to support educational efforts at Rookery Bay with three grants, one of which will significantly underwrite bus transportation costs for National Estuaries Day in late September. The other grants will provide GPS units for boats used in the high school educational program, and other educational items for the elementary programs.
The club will make a donation to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum in support of its mission of increasing knowledge of, and appreciation for, mollusks and their shells.
The commitment and talent of our members/volunteers and the continuing support of the community for the Club's fund-raising activities makes all these donations possible.