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Fourth-grader organizes pancake benefit for manatee fund

Scarlett Archer and her classmates at Willsboro Central School raised over $1,000 for the Save the Manatee Fund.

Scarlett Archer and her classmates at Willsboro Central School raised over $1,000 for the Save the Manatee Fund. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

 On Essex Day, you could find Scarlett Archer at her lemonade stand, selling refreshing drinks and helping a cause.

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Willsboro Central School fourth graders at the Save the Manatee Pancake Breakfast fundraiser at the Essex Inn.

“The first year, I donated to the SPCA,” said Archer, a fourth grader at Willsboro Central. “Then I did it for the manatees and I raised enough to adopt a manatee.”

Through the “adoption,” Archer became a member of the Save the Manatee Club (savetehmanatee.org), and would receive information from them. It was one of their posts that prompted her to do something more.

“They sent an email about the red tide coming in and I decided that I wanted to do something to help,” she said.

According to the group, red tide “acts as a neurotoxin in manatees, giving them seizures that can result in drowning without human intervention ... Manatees exposed to red tide can be moved out of the affected area by trained biologists and stabilized at a critical care facility, (and) their prognosis is very good.”

Archer decided that she wanted to do a fundraising breakfast at the Essex Inn, run by her parents Joshua and Gladys, but knew that she would need some help.

Seeking partners, she turned to her fourth-grade teacher, Laura Bridge, for help from the class.

“I was a bit nervous at first when I asked the class to help,” Archer said. “When so many of them started to raise their hands, I got really excited because I knew that we could help a lot of manatees.”

“It can take a lot of guts to get up and speak to the class and ask for their help,” Bridge said. “It was absolutely wonderful. They all stepped up to the occasion, and it is something that they will never forget.”

Archer and her classmates then got to work to organize the event, which was held April 14 at the inn.

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