John's Island Real Estate Company to Unveil Two TurtleTrax© Turtles

Posted by — August 7, 2005

John's Island Real Estate Company to Unveil Two TurtleTrax© Turtles by Pop Artist, Romero Britto, and Saint Edward's Art Students

Vero Beach, FL - August 3, 2005 - You have heard about the “cows” in Chicago, the “guitars” in Cleveland, and maybe even the “horses” in Saratoga Springs. Now, there are “turtles” in Vero Beach. The John’s Island Real Estate Company is pleased to be the Presenting Sponsor of TurtleTrax© an exciting new charity event to benefit the Mental Health Association of Indian River County. In addition to being a major sponsor, the company is sponsoring two turtles which will be unveiled on August 13th at the Sunset Saturday Jazz and Blues Night along Humiston Park in Vero Beach. Following the unveiling, the turtles will be placed on public exhibit on Ocean Drive in front of two prominent local storefronts - The Twig and Cravings.

The first turtle sponsored by John’s Island Real Estate Company, titled “Born in the USA!”, was brilliantly designed by Romero Britto, one of the most important living artists in contemporary Pop Art. Recently seen on Donald Trump’s popular television reality show, “The Apprentice,” Britto is well known for his unabashed representation of life celebrated through vibrant colors and hard-edged compositions. His work ranges from original paintings to serigraphs and mixed media sculptures. Britto’s gallery, Britto Central, is located at 818 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. .

The second turtle is the creation of students from The Saint Edward’s Middle and Upper schools. Art students created several designs and voted on the ten best submissions. Saint Edward’s art instructors, Anne Whitney and Lourdes Cascaiari, then selected the five most outstanding designs and sent them to the John’s Island Real Estate Company to select the winner. The winning turtle was designed by students Ebony Gunn, Ryan Portel, and Jordan Wassell.

“On behalf of John’s Island Real Estate Company, I am very proud to be involved in the MHA’s TurtleTrax fundraiser” expressed company Chairman Bob Gibb. “My wife, Wheatie and I look forward to the public unveiling of these two exciting turtles that help unite business, education and the non-profit sector for the benefit of all of Indian River County.”

A United Way agency, The Mental Health Association (MHA) launched the TurtleTrax® charity event as a way to bring community awareness to MHA services available to residents and businesses of Indian River County. MHA programs and services provide guidance for dealing with life’s hurdles. “The MHA connects people in need to solutions,” said Kris Sarkaukas, president and CEO of the MHA, “If we can’t help you, we know who can. TurtleTrax® is a community-wide undertaking that benefits not only MHA, but other charitable organizations, and the business, artistic, municipal, and educational sectors of our community. “

The first nest-full of six-foot fiberglass sea turtles began hitting shores of Indian River County in June. Each turtle is sponsored by a local business or individual, decorated by an acclaimed artist of the sponsor’s choice, and then publicly displayed throughout the community. The program has sold out with over 50 sponsored turtles that will be displayed throughout the county until March 31, 2006. The TurtleTrax® event will culminate in a Black Tie (Waist High), Caribbean-themed Gala on April 8, 2006, where the turtles will be auctioned to the highest bidder. 75% of the proceeds from each turtle sale will benefit the Mental Health Association. The remaining 25% will be donated to each high bidder’s charity of choice.

For more TurtleTrax information contact TurtleTrax Chairman Barbara Hammond 772-473-0167 or Tammy Adams 772-234-0408, or visit www.turtletrax.org for locations and updates on the turtle “hatchings."

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