Scarlett Archer and her classmates at Willsboro Central School raised over $1,000 for the Save the Manatee Fund.
On Essex Day, you could find Scarlett Archer at her lemonade stand, selling refreshing drinks and helping a cause.
“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.
“I think that it went well,” Archer said as the class earned a total of $1,046.02 for the Save the Manatee Club Red Tide Emergency Fund. “It was hard to believe how well we did.”
Twelve students from the class were at the breakfast, while others made posters and wrote pieces about the manatee.
“Most of the class served the pancakes while I did raffles and donations and answered questions about the manatees,” Archer said.
“She even got to talk to former Gov. George Pataki and his wife about the fundraiser,” Bridge said. “It was great to get to see the class in a different light.”
Archer said that she already has plans in place for the next Essex Day, which will take her fundraising cause to the other side of the world.
“I think that I want to do something with the Bengal tigers,” she said.