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Updated: May 11, 2023

"Plant a Coral Campaign" Raises Funds for Coral Reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

In a unique collaboration, local third graders and Tom Thumb Food Stores are joining forces to support Coral Restoration Foundation™ (CRF™) in their efforts to restore coral reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The month-long "Plant a Coral Campaign" will raise funds for this critical cause, this year, with the added involvement of some creative local students.

Throughout May, customers at Tom Thumb Food Stores from Fort Lauderdale to Key West can donate one dollar to "plant a coral” within the store. All money raised will be donated to CRF. This year, the campaign has taken a creative turn with local third graders entering a contest to have their coral drawings take center stage on the walls of the convenience store chain’s outlets. Teachers from Key Largo School, Plantation Key School, Ocean Studies Charter School, and Treasure Village Montessori School were given a package of engaging educational content to inspire students to draw pictures of elkhorn or staghorn corals, two essential species found in the Florida Keys, both of which are critically endangered and now form the core of the CRF™ large-scale restoration program in the Keys.

Tom Thumb Food Stores and CRF™ donated generous prizes for the winning students and their teachers. The winners, honorable mentions, and their teachers received a visit in their classrooms for a prize-giving ceremony and an afternoon of hands-on edutainment with local celebrity and CRF™ hero, Captain Coral.

This marks the fourth year that Tom Thumb has run the "Plant a Coral Campaign." Previous campaigns have raised thousands of dollars for local reef restoration efforts. Tom Thumb Food Stores has been a long-time supporter of Coral Restoration Foundation™, making regular donations in addition to running this local fundraiser. Richard Klyczek, Chief Strategy Officer for Tom Thumb Food Stores, Inc. explains, “It has been our pleasure teaming up with CRF™ to support their outstanding work restoring coral reefs while also supporting education. The artwork created by the students was so impressive and we are excited to display it in each of our locations during the month of May. We are very proud to support our neighbors and our communities through these partnerships in the Florida Keys.”

"It's truly inspiring to see the powerful collaboration between Tom Thumb Food Stores and our local schools in support of coral restoration,” said Martha Roesler, Chief Development Officer of Coral Restoration Foundation™, “This campaign has truly been a wonderful example of how businesses and communities can engage students in creating a positive impact on the environment. The 'Plant a Coral Campaign' not only raises vital funds for our mission but also fosters a sense of environmental stewardship among the younger generation. We are incredibly grateful for the continued dedication of our community partners and the enthusiasm of our young artists, as together, we work towards a brighter future for our precious coral reefs."

To participate in the 2023 Plant a Coral campaign, visit any Tom Thumb Food Store in the month of May and "plant" your coral for just one dollar!

About Tom Thumb Food Stores

Tom Thumb Food Stores is a leading convenience store chain serving customers in South Florida. With a strong commitment to the communities it serves, Tom Thumb has been a proud supporter of various local initiatives, including running the annual "Plant a Coral Campaign" in partnership with Coral Restoration Foundation™.

About Coral Restoration Foundation™

Coral Restoration Foundation™ (CRF™) is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the coral reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. CRF™ works to support the reefs' natural recovery processes through the large-scale cultivation, outplanting, and monitoring of genetically diverse, reef-building corals.

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