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OVMF 2005 Golf Tournament

The annual OVMF golf tournament was again a huge success.  This year’s tournament was held at the prestigious Oak Tree Golf and Country Club in Edmond Oklahoma.  The west course is a very challenging course and will be home to the 2006 Senior’s PGA tournament this coming March.  The day was completed by a home cooked catfish fry and gumbo dinner by Dr. Charles Thibadeaux of Hill’s at the home of our executive director, Dr. Charles Helwig.  No matter how bad your golf game was, if you missed this, you really missed out! 

Thanks to Foundation Trustees Michael Hudson, DVM and Kent Hart, DVM who put a lot of effort into getting this tournament to come together.

A very special thanks goes to the following entities for their sponsorship this year:

Eagle Sponsors:
Fort Dodge

Birdie Sponsors:

Par Sponsors:
Nelson, Fraizer & Sheorey, Inc
DVM Resources

First Place:
Richard Henthorn
Jerry Henthorn
Bob Dover
David Long, DVM

First Place Flight B:
Steve Giles
Mike Jones
Lincoln Ward
Gene Frie

First Place Flight C:
Chuck Helwig, DVM
Steve Nix
Greg Emmert, DVM
Brent Hardesty

Closest to the Pin:
ALL: Ryan Beiswanger

Longest Drive:
DVM: Greg Strathe, DVM
Female: Jean Hudson
All: Aaron Farr, DVM

Putting Contest:
First: Jeff Hefner
Second: Pat Proctor

See you next year!

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC), the first of its kind in Georgia and possibly the world, mission statement says it all: “Through sea turtle rehabilitation, research and education programs, the GSTC will increase awareness of habitat and wildlife conservation challenges, promote responsibility for ecosystem health and empower individuals to act locally, regionally, and globally to protect the environment.” The GSTC officially opened to the public on June 16, 2007 and has already experienced noteworthy accomplishments and amazing success.


The creation of the GSTC was initially a dream of Dr. Terry Norton, who in 2001 recognized the need for such a center. The development of this project was a partnership between the Jekyll Island Authority, Jekyll Island Foundation, St. Catherines Island Foundation and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. 


While the facility itself is housed within a rehabilitated historic building in the Historic District of Jekyll Island, GA, there is nothing historic about the equipment inside. A state-of-the-art facility, the hospital contains high-tech life support systems, digital radiography capabilities, flexible and rigid endoscopy, ultrasound, a surgical suite, a treatment room and equipment to conduct numerous diagnostic tests on site. Collaborations with a local dentist, orthopedic surgeon, CT and MRI facilities, who donated their time and equipment, have led to new techniques and procedures. Relationships developed with several veterinary schools has provide a unique opportunity to use the expertise of several specialists on selected cases  and for the development of a veterinary student externship in wildlife  and conservation based medicine.


The Exhibit Gallery houses custom-made, interactive exhibits featuring the life history of sea turtles, life-sized reproductions of the sea turtles species found in Georgia, and a full-sized replica of Archelon suspended above our Gift Shop. Unique features of the GSTC include a window in the exhibit gallery that allows the public to view the treatment room and an elevated walkway in the center of our rehabilitation pavilion, allowing the staff to engage the general public by giving them a close up, personal view of the rehabilitation process, enhanced by education programs. The Education Department also coordinates school and tour groups, outreach programs, teacher work-shops, family programs, summer camp and special events.


The GSTC staff oversees the nest monitoring and saturation tagging program for loggerhead sea turtles nesting on Jekyll Island and is conducting a human impact study on nesting loggerhead sea turtles.  Furthermore, the staff is leading an investigation on free ranging and stranded loggerhead nutritional health and utilizing this information to develop a sea turtle vitamin supplement and formula for tube feeding debilitated loggerheads. In addition, we partner with outside researchers on variety sea turtle conservation and basic biology research projects.  The GSTC is leading a cooperative effort to standardizing the approach to handling sea turtle mortality events in the southeastern US.  The staff has been involved in several international training workshops in the Caribbean and Panama. We have partnered with Ross University, WIDECAST, and others in the development and ongoing efforts of the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network by providing expertise and staff in leatherback and hawksbill tagging and health assessment projects.


The GSTC has evolved into working with freshwater turtles, diamondback terrapins, and tortoises in its rehabilitation, education, and research programs. Most notably is the development of a comprehensive conservation program for the diamondback terrapin. We are also developing programs for marine birds and other avian species and marine mammals such as the Northern right whale.  The GSTC has hosted several workshops and conferences including a Diamondback Terrapin Road Mortality Workshop, the Gopher Tortoise Council Annual Meeting in 2008, and a Georgia SEANET workshop.


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