April 10, 2013                                                                                    


Sumter DART to assist Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary


Organizations join forces to help the iconic
bird sanctuary get back on track


Pinellas County, Florida—Volunteers
will begin a project this weekend to give the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary a bit
of a makeover. After hearing the news of the sanctuary being in some financial
distress, Sumter Disaster Animal Response Team Executive Director, Jenn
Miler-Most, reached out to the sanctuary about a month ago to see what could be
done to help. Her inquiry was welcomed with open arms by Micki Eslick, Operations
Manager at the sanctuary.


Putting aside all of the political
and financial issues surrounding the woes of the sanctuary, and looking at the
history of the organization, and the great need in the community, Miler-Most
and Eslick, brainstormed on what could be done by volunteers at this time. This
weekend, volunteers will begin with an organizing and deep cleaning project in
the sanctuary’s bird hospital facility, which is closed for the time being.
“When the organization has stabilized, and the time comes to reopen the
hospital, it will be clean and organized and ready for staff and volunteers to
assist the birds in need” said Miler-Most.


A few other project ideas the duo
came up with will help enhance the environment at the sanctuary for the greater
good of the animals, whether they are there temporarily or they have become
permanent residents. The projects will be done in phases and Miler-Most hopes
to have everything they can do to help completed by mid-summer. “We are so
thankful to Jenn and the volunteers she is gathering to help us out! It’s nice
to have some extra help right now.” said Micki Eslick.


Sumter DART, a not-for-profit
organization, is a statewide team of volunteers that helps animals that are
affected by natural OR manmade disasters. “We are always looking for
volunteers” says Miler-Most, who first visited the sanctuary as a Girl Scout in
the mid 1970’s “and that includes folks looking to help with this project at
the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary.”


For information about Sumter DART and
how to get involved, you can visit their website at And, if you are interested in helping this weekend, you
can email Jenn Miler-Most at Or
call her at 352-658-DART(3278) for more details. Volunteers must sign up ahead
of time and they must be at least 18 years of age, or accompanied by a parent.


The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary
opened in 1971 and it is located at 18328-Gulf Blvd in Indian Shores, Florida.
For more information, you can visit their website at They are open to the public 365 days a year from 9AM to
sunset and admission is always free.



Media contacts:

Sumter DART- Jenn Miler-Most,, 727-481-1385

Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary- Micki Eslick,,727-392-4291or cell:813-785-7090

April 2013 Press Release