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Thanks to Generous ‘Giving Tuesday’ Donors,
Thunder Bay River ‘Turkey Jump’ this Thursday at 3 p.m.

ALPENA, MICH.—Just as temperatures are scheduled to drop below freezing this week, Superintendent of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Jeff Gray will follow through on his Giving Tuesdaychallenge. He will jump into the Thunder Bay River dressed in a turkey suit at 3 p.m. on Thursday, December 7. Community friends and supporters are invited to come cheer Gray on along the river, just outside the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center building.

Gray challenged the Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (TBNMS) to raise $7,500 or generate 50 donations on Giving Tuesday, November 28, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The results are in and the Friends exceeded the goal once again.

Forty-one donors contributed on behalf of the Friends of TBNMS to the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan, raising $8,135 for the TBNMS education and community outreach programs. Additionally, 15 donors contributed directly to the Friends of TBNMS website, thunderbayfriends.org, raising $2,025, for a combined grand total of 56 donors and $10,160.00.

“While the sanctuary staff takes protecting the Great Lakes and preserving their maritime heritage very seriously, we try to have some fun, too,” said Gray.  “I’m pretty sure that I’ll be the coldest, living turkey in northern Michigan on Thursday, but I am so grateful for all those who took this challenge seriously by donating to the Friends of Thunder Bay.”

The Friends of TBNMS, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, appreciates all those who stepped forward to support the sanctuary on Giving Tuesday and the extraordinary work of the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan, raising a total of $120,688 for 51 area nonprofits.

Following Gray’s jump in the river, the community is encouraged to attend a free presentation Thursday evening at 6 p.m in the theater of the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center. Sanctuary Research Coordinator and Maritime Archaeologist John Bright will share details and imagery of two exciting shipwreck discoveries from this field season: the semi-whaleback, Choctaw, and the freighter, Ohio, located in deep water just north of Presque Isle.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please call 989-884-6212. The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center is located at 500 West Fletcher, Alpena, Mich.