Winter and Hope have been celebrating their birthdays all week long with tons of bubbles! Clearwater Marine Aquarium Birthday SurpriseSpecial guest Leya shares a birthday with Hope the Dolphin on October 11th, but she also shares an inspiring connection to another Dolphin Tale star. Much like Winter the Dolphin, who has a prosthetic tail, Leya received a prosthetic leg at a very early age and has had to adapt to growing with it. Watching Winter’s story in the Dolphin Tale / Dolphin Tale 2 Movies inspired her along the way.
A few days before her 9th birthday, Leya had the opportunity to come visit Clearwater Marine Aquarium during the week celebrating Winter & Hope’s birthdays. Leya and her family stayed at one of the Winter & Hope themed rooms at the Wyndham Grand on Clearwater Beach. They visited CMA the next day and Leya was surprised with a special chance to meet Winter and Hope, the dolphins that inspired her through her challenging times.
Last year Leya had a good friend visit Winter and bought Leya the DVD Winter, The Dolphin That Can. Leya watched the DVD over and over. Since then she has wanted to see and meet Winter. This past summer Leya was able to attend a week long camp for kids who are amputees. She finally got to meet and get to know others like her. Leya was able to grow her confidence and strengthen her inner self. Her mother believes meeting Winter will continue that momentum of encouragement and strength to help Leya overcome her daily challenges.
As a child watching the Dolphin Tale Movies, she really connected with Winter. Watching Winter get frustrated and unsure about the device but then giving it a chance and seeing it work really helped her. Winter didn’t give up and neither has Leya. The daily challenges of being an amputee as a kid can be rough but knowing others who are like her that push through, think outside the box, inspire others, and live a happy and healthy life is important. Now when Leya gets the opportunity to talk to others about her condition and her prosthetic, she likes to share Winter’s inspiring story as well.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working marine rescue center dedicated to inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation and release. CMA is home to rescued dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, nurse sharks and more.
Tomorrow October 16th is the last day to celebrate Winter and Hope’s Birthday Bubble Bash.
Kids 12 and under who bring a birthday card for Winter & Hope will receive $9.99 admission through Oct. 16th. (As a friendly reminder, help protect the environment by using recycled paper for your birthday card creation!)
- Sign a giant birthday card for Winter and Hope.
- Have a bubbly time in Spectrum Theatre with bubble machines.
- Enjoy the music and some fun hula hooping in the theatre!
- Pin-the-tail on Winter game.
- See Winter and Hope at the aquarium!
Would you like to get Winter and Hope a birthday present?
Check out the Marine Mammal Wish List here! Winter loves her Kong toy, Hope loves her bubbles and squirt toys. The Wish List will provide you with a list of items that the animal care specialists use to create environmental enrichment devices (EEDs) for the girls!
If you are coming to the Birthday Bubble Bash event, you may bring the item in and place in on the gift table that will be located in Spectrum Theatre.
If you are unable to attend the event, simply mail the wish list item to:
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
ATTN: Marine Mammal Dept.
249 Windward Passage
Clearwater, FL 33767
PC and info from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium site and blog.
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