Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) celebrated its hundreds of volunteers on April 10, as more than 50 individuals attended the nonprofit’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Party, held at the Bailey Homestead Preserve.


“Our volunteers are the heart and soul of our organization,” said SCCF CEO James Evans. “Since 1967 when a group of volunteers founded SCCF, those who generously donate their time and talents have served as the basis for our mission-driven work as well as our amazing community support.”


Last year, more than 860 volunteers donated more than 10,000 hours across program areas.


Set against the backdrop of April’s Earth Month, the party’s theme was “You Mean the World to Us.”


“By acting locally, you are having a global impact on many species that depend on our conservation efforts, like our sea turtles, shorebirds, raptors like our bald eagles, and ospreys, as well as other species that are not as well studied like our mud turtles and diamondback terrapins,” said Evans.


One of the highlights of the evening was a global trivia contest, hosted by Coastal Watch Director Kealy McNeal. From questions about mangrove ecosystems in Asia to locally threatened bird species, volunteers showcased their impressive conservation knowledge.



As an added bonus, all attendees walked away knowing SCCF’s mission statement: to protect and care for Southwest Florida’s coastal ecosystems.



Coastal Watch volunteers were honored for their amazing efforts in helping the community recover following Hurricane Ian. In 2023, over 650 individual volunteers logged more than 3,000 volunteer hours across 45 Coastal Watch cleanup events, removing several thousand pounds of debris. They also planted 3,500 mangroves at several SCCF restoration sites.


In a major milestone, Dean Skaugstad was celebrated as SCCF’s longest-running volunteer, with his 30-year tenure as a Hammerhead and all-around volunteer earning him a well-deserved standing ovation.


“While we know that you choose to volunteer selflessly and without expectation of being recognized or rewarded, today we wish to do just that,” added Evans.


Additionally, SCCF recognized those who achieved 5-year increment milestones in 2024. The names below include volunteers who contribute their time and talents across a wide array of departments and program areas, including:


  • Shorebird and sea turtle monitoring
  • Coastal Watch
  • Board of Trustees and Board advisory committees
  • Marine Laboratory
  • Native Landscapes & Garden Center
  • Education and outreach including Weeds ‘n’ Seeds
  • Hammerheads (facility and equipment construction and repairs)
  • Administrative work
  • Wildlife monitoring


Heidi Denis

Lorri Philbin

Becky Mulka

Audrey Mulka

Joleen Raho

Roberta Puschel

Philip Puschel

Lynn Meline

Stefanie Plein (Wolf)

Carol McCallum

Laura Shaffer

Kay Sadighi

Rachel Walsh

Diane Clarke

Pam Miller

Tom Miller

Dean Caple

Mayri Caple

Doug Ryckman

Marsha Walsh

Karen Turner

Phil Weyman

Tina Weyman

Sally Divenere

John Morse

Jewel Jensen

Susan Beittel

Robin Kirk

Michael Galloway

Nancy Riley

Kerry Salatino

Ruth Brooks

Linda Tedeschi

Karl Werner

Barb Halko

Julianne Kirkpatrick

France Paulsen

Mike Rice

Wendy Kindig

Marilyn Klaren

Philip Klaren

Lisa Newmeyer-Cochrane

Claudia Burns

Irene Nolan

Joan Rogers

Molly Downing

Allen Dunham

Robin Krivanek

Dean Skaugstad

Tory Burch

Fay Carney

Gwenda Hiett-Clements

Linda Uhler

Tom Uhler


Find out how to become an SCCF volunteer.


About SCCF


The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) mission is to protect and care for the coastal ecosystems of Southwest Florida. Founded in 1967, SCCF’s work has expanded to include: Protecting wildlife, Restoring native habitats, Monitoring water quality, Educating the community, and Advocating for ecosystems.