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FGCU Hosts Reception, Area Students at Poster Exhibit Feb. 17

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University honors the winners of the Florida Panther Poster Show, 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 17 in the Margaret S. Sugden Welcome Center during a reception to kick-off the panther poster exhibit created by area school students.

Winners were chosen from among 5,000 entries from 32 elementary, middle and high schools in Collier County. Students drew the endangered Florida panther and its habitat to enter. The theme of the poster exhibit, which continues through Monday, Feb. 21, is "When you save the Florida panther, you save everything that lives with the Florida panther."

The reception includes refreshments and complimentary Florida panther and kitten photos. In addition, attendees are encouraged to vote for their favorite poster in a "Penny a Vote" fundraiser to help save the Florida panther.

The top winning entries will travel March 14 to the Florida Senate for a week, Disney World's Animal Kingdom April 4 through 24, and the rotunda of the Department of the Interior building in Washington D.C. in April.

Later, the Rookery Bay Science Center, Coastland Mall, Naples Philharmonic Center, Naples Government Center, North Naples Library and School Board Center of Naples host the students' poster exhibit.

FGCU's Wings of Hope program, Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge and the Florida Panther Refuge, Florida Endangered Wildlife Association, Caribbean Gardens, Earthmark Companies, Big Cypress Basin/South Florida Water Management District, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the FGCU Foundation sponsored the exhibit.

For more information, contact Wings of Hope director Ricky Pires at (239) 590-7028.

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