December 11, 2011

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Atlanta, Georgia

Friday, December 9, 2011

It was a very special evening this past Friday at the Georgia Aquarium, where supporters gathered to celebrate the 20thanniversary of the Captain Planet Foundation.  Joining founder Ted Turner were special musical guest Alison Krauss, the 26-time Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter; Gala Co-Chairs Laura Turner Seydel and Elizabeth Dupree Lynch at one of Atlanta’s most spectacular eco benefits ever held. 
The Captain Planet Foundation was founded by Ted Turner with the goal of educating young people about environmental issues, and to encourage them to discover solutions to the many challenges facing our ocean planet.  Nurturing the next generation of environmental stewards is a goal that Turner has always taken very seriously. His children told CNN News that for as long as they can remember, their father has been an exemplary model, even stopping along the roadside to pick up trash. 

Grand prize winner, Tommy Whiteley of Fairfield Country Day School in Fairfield, Connecticut recently won a nationwide contest for his idea to put artificial ice floes in the ocean to help polar bears cope with global warming.  The concept won Whiteley the Grand Prize in the nationwide Dream Green contest, run by the Captain Planet Foundation and Rocket21, a social networking site. The competition asked kids to submit ideas for projects to help save the environment.

As ice caps melt and real ice chunks float away, polar bears often end up drowning while they swim long distances to dry land. Whiteley’s concept would place artificial islands in the Arctic Ocean for the endangered animals to rest on during their swims.

Whiteley was honored in Atlanta Friday at the Captain Planet Foundation Gala. He met the organization’s founder,  Ted Turner, as well as Oceanographer Sylvia Earle, Emmy Award-winning Animal Planet host Jeff Corwin and Grammy winner Alison Krauss.

But Whiteley said he’s most excited about the location of the gala, the famous Georgia Aquarium.  “I have wanted to go to the Georgia Aquarium since I first learned about it, but then to be able to see it in person and meet all of these amazing people who also care about animals and the planet is just awesome,” said Whiteley.  
Those awarded at the event included Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin, Atlanta student Erick Estroff, Arabia Mountain High School and oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle. 

Presenting Sponsors incuded – The Cartoon Network, Georgia Power, Xfinity, JST Foundation, Pratt Industries 100% Recycled and The Coca-Cola Company.
By Deb Castellana

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