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Tampa 6-year-old raises money for The Florida Aquarium

Six-year-old philanthropist inspired by ocean conservation raises money for The Florida Aquarium – Little girl Huge Heart.


“Little girl huge heart”is an understatement when it comes to describing Makenzie Bass.

Makenzie, a 6-year-old philanthropist inspired by ocean conservation, presented a check almost twice her size to The Florida Aquarium in the amount of $546 on April 18. Makenzie raised the funds herself, which will go toward the Aquarium’s mission of entertaining, educating and inspiring stewardship of the natural environment.

After learning about endangered animals in her class at Carrollwood Day School, Makenzie felt inspired to get involved.

“I just knew these animals needed my help, so I thought of a way to help them,” Makenzie says. “I just really, really love the ocean, and felt I had to do something.”

Makenzie, with the help of her mom Christine and dad Cory, held a bake sale at her school to raise funds for the animals she learned about in class. She raised $273 in just one day, which included a personal gift from her birthday money. But that wasn’t the end. In true entrepreneurial style, Makenzie asked her dad’s company, Solutran, to match the funds, and it did.

little girl huge heart“Solutran has always been a big supporter of charities, and they were more than supportive to match the funds Makenzie raised for The Florida Aquarium,” says Cory Bass.

After Makenzie presented the check to the Aquarium, she received a personal behind-the-scenes tour with Eric Hovland, the Aquarium’s associate curator, to get an up-close look at some of the animals her donation may help.

“We are grateful for Makenzie’s support and her philanthropic spirit at such a young age,” says Libby Joyce, director of development at The Florida Aquarium. “No amount of support is too small or large; every dollar can make an impact. And no one is too young or old to make a difference. We are proud of Makenzie for spreading her passion for our blue planet, and we can’t thank her or Solutran enough for their generosity.”

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