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SouthWest Florida Marine Aquarium Society

Gates; A Future Marine Biologist @NOVA

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Gates has accepted a full-ride offer at NOVA's Halmos College of Oceanography. As of today, he is residing in Ft Lauderdale at NOVA. He is no longer that persuasive awkward little kid at the first coral auctions, (well he's still awkward) but a nearly full grown man and past Staff Sargent in ROTC.


Gates wanted me to thank everyone in the CLUB who supported him (Ron, Elaine, Matt, Charlie), helped him (Marco), nurtured his interest in corals and fish(Jeff D.) , and treated him as an equal despite his age (Charlie, Matt, heck everyone!). 


I hope that there will be more SWFMAS Club meetings on the other coast that Gates and I can attend together. I'd bet that at some point, Gates will be LEADING US ALL ON A TOUR of his new environment.   


Thanks to many, but especially Jeff D., This Club provided Gates with unparalleled TOURS and insightful EXPERIENCES that he could not get anywhere else.  


We are grateful for you and the Club. 

Michael Mariotti

2018-08-17 10.46.51.jpg

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Are you kidding me?!?!? Where does all the time go? Gates is off to college. That's so cool! Please pass along to Gates our sincere congratulations. A full ride scholarship, picking Oceanography, ROTC accomplishments... we are genuinely thrilled to hear all this news.


Mike, we have always been impressed by both Gates as a youngster and now as a young adult as well as his parents who obviously have done a wonderful job raising Gates!



Ron & Elaine

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Thanks for the kind words Ron. Gates appreciates it and so do I. He hopes that there will be an opportunity to see you guys on "his coast" in the near future. 

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Wow - look at that! You're right, where has the time gone!
I'm so incredibly happy to hear that Gates found something he loves, and is continuing on with it, and that the club played a small part in that.


This club was built for the community and it's members, and these kind of event made it all worth it, I really hope that everyone that served on the BOD, and volunteered at the events, helped out a little or a lot, and all of the members will feel something out of this. This wasn't an accomplishment by one, but took a group.




Gates; both Cristina and I remember the first time we met, you were a little wee one, and you(and Mike) came over to the house in the 'Park' - to pickup some coral. You stood there, and gawked and awed at the large ocean in the wall, and seemed fascinated and captivated. We both hope you never loose that sparkle or the passion, continue to love the ocean and maybe help solve some of the pressing issues that are endangering the very thing we all have a passion for!


Way to go!



Good Job! The club was a resource available to you, but you and your family did the hard work, and did a Great Job!


-Marco & Cristina.



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