South Florida Museum Weekly News: Upcoming events, programs and more! July 22, 2014

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Thank you to the community 

and to all of the families who shared in another year of 

Snooty Memories


Snooty getting his special “cake”
We celebrated Snooty’s record-breaking 66th birthday with a free outdoor festival, reduced admission prices, games, cake and ice cream (of course) and a special “cake” for the birthday boy. Snooty’s  66th Birthday Bash, Arts & Wildlife Festival once again offered the community the opportunity to share in the celebration of Snooty’s long life as a manatee ambassador and to create new memories. The Museum welcomed nearly 2,000 guests inside with paid half-price admission, with an estimated total of 4,000 – 5,000 people enjoying the Festival overall. This was the 46th annual Birthday Bash for Snooty. The Museum wishes to thank everyone in the community and beyond who helped to make this year’s Festival another smashing success. 
Snooty’s 66th birthday “cake” made from cabbage, strawberries, pineapple, sweet potatoes and beets

“It was tremendously heart-warming to have such an outpouring of support not just from our community, but from all over the country and the world,” said Museum CEO Brynne Anne Besio. “Snooty is an ambassador not just for manatees, but for all endangered species. By raising awareness that Snooty has reached such an old age in his protected environment, we are showing the world that manatees and other threatened animals can grow much older than they currently are. If we work together to protect their natural environment, we could help to increase the life expectancy of manatees in the wild.”

Museum staff and Trustees are also grateful to the people and organizations that contributed to the 66th Birthday Bash. The event would not have been possible without the help of all of the volunteers who donated their time to help celebrate Snooty’s special day. We are pleased to have had Mosaic as the presenting sponsor for the second year in a row.

We would like to thank the exhibitors who provided activities and educational opportunities for event attendees. Exhibitors included: Around The Bend Nature Tours, Bay News 9, Bishop Animal Shelter, Busch Gardens Tampa, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, Donte’s Den Foundation, Dr. Geek’s Laboratory of Applied Geekdom, Florida Maritime Museum, 
Humane Society of Manatee County, Lemur Conservation Foundation, Manatee County Audubon Society, Manatee County Parks & Natural Resources. Manatee County Public Library, Manatee County Recycling Program, Manatee County Water Conservation, Mosaic (Fossil Dig and Mosaic Express Bus), Mote Marine Laboratory (Mote Mobile Exhibit), Myakka River State Park, Nature’s Academy, Pittsburgh Pirates / Bradenton Marauders, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Sarasota Audubon Society, Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Save Our Seabirds, Save the Manatee Club, SEC (Science and Environmental Council of Southwest Florida), Sea to Shore Alliance, Venice Area Audubon Society and Whole Child of Manatee County. 
Suncoast Food Trucks and A-OK Hot Dog Wagon were a hit with families looking for a bite to eat during the Festival. Free samples were offered by Flowers Bakery, Bluebell Ice Cream, and Tropicana.

This year, the Museum asked our community as well as people around the country and around the world to share their memories and family stories about visiting Snooty. We’ve received dozens of comments and messages on social media – including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – as well as hand-made birthday cards with greetings and wishes from far and wide. Please add your memories if you have not done so already!

If you couldn’t attend (or would like to relive it) the birthday Livestream video is still available for viewing! Watch and share it with someone who would love Snooty by clicking here. 

Presented by

Snooty’s 66th Birthday Card 
Contest Winners

Snooty received more than 70 birthday cards from his young friends and fans in this year’s birthday card contest. Out of the all of official entrants, winners were chosen for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes in 4 age categories, as well as several honorable mentions. Winners were announced at Snooty’s 66th Birthday Bash, Arts & Wildlife Festival.
Siblings Jaden and Jacob Klusacek receive a special family prize for their card entry
The winners are:
First Place
  • Pre-K / Kindergarten: Chloe Sutton
  • First / Second Grade: Gloria Ruiz
  • Third / Fourth Grade: Katie Evans
  • Fifth / Sixth Grade: Meghan McConnaghy
Second Place

  • Pre-K / Kindergarten: Wylie Joyce
  • First / Second Grade: Gabrielle Bowen
  • Third / Fourth Grade: Autumn Wildgrube
  • Fifth / Sixth Grade: Dana Young

Third Place 

  • Pre-K / Kindergarten: Julia Fernandez
  • First / Second Grade: Shelby Kovatch
  • Third / Fourth Grade: Madox Brown
  • Fifth / Sixth Grade: Hannah Sondreal

Honorable Mentions

  • Preschooler Tianna Sutton
  • Second grader Kelly Winfield

Family Award

  • Siblings Jaden and Jacob Klusacek
Thank you to Snooty’s Birthday Card Prize Donors:
  • Anna Maria Island Art League
  • Beach Bums
  • Busch Gardens
  • Chick-Fil-A (Fruitville Road)
  • Circus Sarasota
  • Come See Come Sav
  • Demetrios’ Pizza House
  • Dinosaur World
  • Dolphin Racer
  • Domino’s Pizza (Anna Maria Island)
  • Fav’s Italian Cucina
  • Florida Railroad Museum
  • Glazer Children’s Museum
  • Great Explorations Children’s Museum
  • LeBarge Tropical Cruises
  • Manatee County Sheriff’s Department
  • Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
  • MOSI
  • Ruby Tuesday (Ellenton)
  • Sarasota Bay Explorers
  • Sarasota Classic Car Museum
  • Steak ‘n Shake
  • Two Scoops Ice Cream Parlor & Coffee

Tomorrow – July 23 at 7 pm

A Special Presentation from Staff Astronomer 

Howard Hocchalter


[ste-lif-er-uhs] adj.

Definition – full of stars

Join us for our exciting live star talk Stelliferous Live, this month with special guest presenter Howard Hocchalter, staff astronomer at the Museum’s Bishop Planetarium. Howard has a large fan club for his weekend star talks (2:15 pm every Saturday and Sunday) and Star of Bethlehem presentation, so this is the perfect opportunity to see him in prime time!
Stelliferous Live takes place the fourth Wednesday of every month at 7 pm in the Bishop Planetarium. This month, we’ll take a look at the upcoming month’s night skies and discuss special topics in summer astronomy.  


Museum Members – $2

Non-Members – $4

(children 16 and under are FREE)

Paid reservations required; please RSVP by clicking here or call 941-746-4131, ext. 17.

Please arrive promptly: Pre-purchased program seats will be held until 5 minutes prior to program start time ONLY, at which time they may be released for re-sale.

Join us this Friday, July 25 for 
Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
with Musical Performance by
“Matt Waldon & Friends”
The South Florida Museum is pleased to present Film Fridays, our exciting film program presenting the best movies you’ve (n)ever seen – most Fridays at 6 pmDon’t forget to join us early for our selection of beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks available for purchase. Please note: the theater may be cold, sweaters or jackets are recommended.  

“Music & Movies” – most Fridays, July 11 – September 19 with music at 6 pm and screenings at 7 pm. 


Enjoy watching your favorite American musicians on the big screen in these intriguing and insightful documentaries that will have your toes tapping and fingers snapping! Everyone from Elvis to Neil Young to the Ramones are featured in these rollicking portraits of American musical excellence.  Join us early for LIVE MUSIC presented in partnership with Realize Bradenton, the Bradenton Downtown Development Authority, and the Del Couch Music Education Foundation.


Museum Members – $3

Non-Members – $5

Paid reservations required; please RSVP by clicking here or call us at 941-746-4131, ext. 17. 

Please arrive promptly: Pre-purchased program seats will be held until 5 minutes prior to program start time ONLY, at which time they may be released for re-sale.


This week’s film:

July 25 – Pete Seeger: The Power of Song (2007) Rated PG, 95 minutes. The compelling history of pioneering folk singer and political activist Pete Seeger is portrayed through archival footage, performances (including “Turn, Turn, Turn” and “If I had a Hammer”), and candid interviews with artists such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Joan Baez, his children and wife Toshi Seeger, and the man himself. 

Music Performance by Matt Waldon & Friends.


Remaining Films in the series:

August 1 – Muscle Shoals (2013)

Music Performance by David Smash.

August 8 – Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013)

Music Performance by The Glee Club.

August 15 – The Last Waltz (1978)

Music Performance by The Billy Rice Band.

August 22 – Elvis: That’s the Way It Is (1970)

Music Performance by The Wright Band.

August 29 – Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006)

Music Performance The Other Ryan Willis.

Sept. 5 – Shut Up and Sing (2006)

Music Performance by Brooke Bonderer Band.

Sept. 12 – End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones (2003)

  Music Performance by Tony Tyler Band.

Sept. 19 – Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988)

Music Performance by Intuit.

For full detailed listings and reservations, click here.


Sponsored in part by


Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. 


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In This Issue:
Snooty’s Birthday Bash Was a Smash!
Snooty’s Birthday Card Contest Winners
Carrie’s Match for the Manatees
Stelliferous Live
Film Fridays – New Series!
Program Calendar
Museum Store
Snooty Cam
Museum Hours
Museum Awards
Museum Affiliations

Events & Programs Calendar
Click here to view our upcoming calendar of events and programs. Call 941-746-4131, ext. 17 for more information.
Upcoming Programs:

Saturday, August 2, 4 – 8 pm

“Family Reading Festival” 

Jump back into the school year with a celebration of reading, writing and good old fashioned storytelling! Meet local authors and illustrators while exploring literacy activities that will engage readers of every age. Storyteller Katie Adams takes the stage at 5pm for oral histories of “Stories from the Sea.” Create your own book and fill the pages with pictures and stories from your wildest imagination. Museum admission is half-price after 4 pm during Family Nights
think + drink logo
Wednesday, August 13 at 7 pm
“Coffee: From Farm to Cup 
with Holly Erez” 

Around the world, hugging the warm equator, the coffee belt nurtures the growth and development of the coffee tree.  But did you know we have fine local coffee roasters right here in our neighborhood? Join local business owner and coffee expert Holly Erez on a journey to discover the wonders of this amazing bean. Explore the science behind that perfect cup as well as the social and cultural influences of the coffee trade. $2 for Museum Members, $4 for Non-members. Click here to purchase tickets.

Click here for a full schedule of public program events and for more information or call 941-746-4131, ext. 17 for info or to RSVP for any program.


The Museum Store offers a fantastic selection of Snooty t-shirts, mugs, postcards, and even mints! Plus, Snooty’s Memory Book is a great way for fans and families to learn about Snooty’s life and history – and to recall their own stories about Snooty from throughout the year! Stop by the Museum Store to pick up your Snooty souvenirs for his big 66th Birthday Bash this Saturday!

And of course, don’t forget to browse all of the great adult and children’s apparel, games, toys, and astronomy, history and science accessories that you’ve come to love.

The Museum Store is open during all normal Museum hours (see above), no admission required.

For more information or to place an order, call the Store at 941-746-4131, ext. 28, email [email protected] or visit

Snooty Cam graphic
Watch Snooty via the Snooty Cam

Check on wild manatees released from the South Florida Museum and other rehabilitation facilities at

Hours and Info
Current Museum Hours:
Monday through Saturday:
10 am to 5 pm
Sunday: Noon to 5 pm
 (Open Mondays in July)
2014 Admission Prices:

Adults – $18
Seniors (65+) – $16
Children (4-12) – $14
Children 3 and under – Free with paying adult
Museum Members – Free
(click here for details)
Active Military / Florida Teachers – Free with proper ID
Combo Tickets are also available for the South Florida Museum and the Da Vinci Machines Exhibition, click here for more information.

For more info, call 941-746-4131, ext. 0 or visit

2014 Tampa Bay Business Journal Nonprofit of the Year Award Winner in Arts, Humanities & Culture
2014 Certificate of Excellence Winner
Have you rated the South Florida Museum on TripAdvisor yet? Click here or the image above to visit the Museum’s TripAdvisor page and read our reviews – or submit your own!

South Florida Museum Memberships and Affiliations:



Staff List – 
Click name to email or call us at 
(941) 746-4131
Brynne Anne Besio 

Executive Director, ext. 18
Jack Balkan
Facility Director, ext. 26

Marilyn Margold

Director of Living Collections, ext. 20 

Jeff Rodgers

Planetarium/Education Director, ext. 22 

Martha Wells

Development Director, ext. 35

Matt Woodside

Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator, ext. 37


Tiffany Birakis

Assistant Curator of Exhibitions & Collections, ext. 16

Ellen Ferraro

Visitor Services Manager, ext. 29

Susan McCarthy

Program Coordinator, ext. 13


Scott Odell

Maintenance Technician, ext. 50

Annual Fund Manager, ext. 11
Development Researcher, ext. 51
Jessica Schubick
Communications Manager, ext. 14

Curator of Education, ext. 31 
Administrative and Development Coordinator, ext. 17

Kris Williamson

Museum Educator, ext. 12

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The South Florida Museum’s Mission: To engage and inspire learners of all ages; we protect, interpret and communicate scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world, and our universe.


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