Thank you for signing up to our email!

Now, before you leave, do you want to make a seal's day?

Kids Put the "Fun" in Fundraising!

John DeRuff and Will Muir completed a fundraising "notecard" campaign to help feed the Center's seal and sea lion patients.
© The Marine Mammal Center


John DeRuff and Will Muir are now 6th graders at the Marin Country Day School in Mill Valley. In 2009, they came to The Marine Mammal Center with their school and during this trip they learned about the Dollar-a-Pound Challenge, a fundraising program to help raise money to feed the Center's sick, injured and orphaned seal and sea lion patients.  The trip and program really connected with them and they decided to hatch a plan to raise money for the Center's patients.

In February this year, John and Will met with our Development staff at the Center and outlined their fundraising plan. To say we were impressed was an understatement! They had a business plan that involved creating and selling 50 packs of 4-piece note cards in their school and local neighborhood. And, they'd done their sums; they had negotiated a printing discount, figured out their gross and net margins and estimated their profit would equal an estimated $500 donation to the Center! With their plan "approved" and some extra "selling tools" like stickers, reusable bags and posters, they were on their way!

John and Will then created their own note cards with pictures of some of our most beloved patients.  John's older sister, Kate, also lent an artistic hand and painted a card of a harbor seal seen on our website (and we love it so much we'll be stocking it in our Gift Shop soon!) By the beginning of May they had sold out of cards and decided to reorder another batch of 100.

A California sea lion snags a fish in his pool at The Marine Mammal Center
© Frances Farley

We were delighted when we received an email at the end of May announcing that they not only met their business objective of raising $500 but had sold out of all the cards and raised a whopping $719 for The Marine Mammal Center! In June, John and Will visited the Center to present their check to Board Director Michael Kleeman, and Director of Development Mecca Nelson.

John and Will's energy and determination is a fantastic example of fundraising in its purest form – believing in a cause, following your heart, and getting out there to help (regardless of how old you are!) We are incredibly honored to be the recipients of their efforts and proud and thankful to John and Will, and their families, for all the support they have shown the Center and its patients.

If you would like to help the Center and its patients, explore our What You Can Do page!

COVID Response

Focusing on safety in our core work.

Adopt a Seal

Your symbolic adoption helps our patients thrive.

Our Commitment

Expanding work on social and environmental equity.