By Libby Hopkins


Summer is right around the corner and that means many children from the Brandon community and beyond will be heading off to summer camp. What comes to mind when you think of summer camp? Fishing or boating? What about zombie research or undersea exploring? Doesn’t sound like your average summer camp, right? Well, zombie research and undersea exploring are just some of the fun and unique camps that are being offered at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) for their summer science camp program. In addition to offering their exceptional camps, they are planning on sending 600 campers from the Tampa Bay community to their camps for free.

“Our goal is to send 600 children from our community to our summer science camps,” said Director of Individual Giving at MOSI, Denise Ellison. “Last year we were able to send 400 children to our camps which were a great success.”

MOSI had two major fundraisers to raise the money to send the children to summer science camp. The events were MOSI’s Give Change to Make Change campaign and Give Day Tampa Bay.

“The Give Change to Make Change campaign was a community effort with PNC Bank being our presenting sponsor,” Ellison said. “The event taught children how to give back through philanthropy.”

The campaign started this past February at MOSI and PNC Banks. Children were given free piggy banks at the museum or at the banks and they were told to fill them with their loose change.

“We gave out more than 2,500 piggy banks through the help of our staff and volunteers,” Ellison said. “Our goal is to raise $150,000 to send the children to camp.”


The children raised over $10,000 and to thank them for their philanthropic efforts, MOSI hosted The Children’s Gala earlier this month.

The Give Day Tampa Bay event was held on Tuesday, May 5 and through community and member donations, MOSI raised more than $96,000. This money will also go toward sending the 600 children to camp. “We are trending on track to make that $150,000 goal because we have reached 80 percent of our goal thus far and we still have 6 weeks left to reach it,” Ellison said.

To make a donation to help MOSI reach their goal of sending 600 children to their summer science camps, visit and click the “make a donation” button on their home page. Their website also has information about the various summer science camps offered at MOSI and how to apply for their summer science camp scholarship. MOSI is located at 4801 E. Fowler Ave. in Tampa.

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.