Passers-by could stop and learn the ins and outs of turtle season before it arrives.
On Feb. 13, Longboat Key Turtle Watch set up shop in front of another shop — J. McLaughlin in the Bay Isles Shoppes. The store was hosting one of its Sip and Shop events, and representatives from the LBKTW set up a table to educate the public on the ins and outs of turtle season.
The day started out rainy and unwelcoming, but as the sun dried out the island, more shoppers strolled by. Representatives Karey Kaine and Sam DiGiammarino stood by the several educational displays, ready to swap turtle stories and teach about how to best take care of the tiny turtles.
"It's a chance for us to answer questions from the public and it's early enough that we're catching them before the season starts if they do have questions," DiGiammarino said.
LBKTW is far from the only organization that sets up its table in front of J. McLaughlin on Saturdays. Store manager Melanie Dale keeps up a healthy schedule of local organizations coming on the weekends, especially during season. She works closely with the Longboat Key Garden Club to set up two trunk shows a year, and has done Sip and Shop events for the Paradise Center, Longboat Key Library and the Tidewell Foundation. Every time, the organization of the week gets 15% of the profits from that day's sales and the opportunity to educate passers-by on their work.
"I try to do one a week and keep it to nonprofits and organizations that are relevant to people on Longboat Key," Dale said. "It's just a good way to give back and support people who've supported us."