Ireland Nugent is kissed by her mother Nicole Nugent outside the Nugent family home after being released from the hospital. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is holding a fundraiser for the family on Saturday. LUKE JOHNSON/STAFF
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium will donate $2 from every paid admission on Saturday to help cover medical expenses for Ireland Nugent, the 2-year-old Palm Harbor girl injured in a lawnmower accident. In April, a riding mower severed both of Ireland's legs below the knee, also cutting her hand and breaking her thumb. Ireland went home from Tampa General Hospital on May 4, after seven surgeries, and is expected to get prostheses in a few weeks. Ireland and her family are planning to visit the aquarium to meet Winter the Dolphin on Saturday, the aquarium said. At 9 a.m. the aquarium will auction off paintings and books “autographed” by Winter, and her tank-mates Panama and Hope, with proceeds going to help Ireland and her family.
In addition, any money placed in the aquarium's donation boxes on Saturday will also go to help Ireland. A Chick-fil-A fundraiser helped raise close to $2,800 earlier this month, according to the Ireland Nugent Support Page created on Facebook by the family's church. The church has also started a fund at Wells Fargo bank. To contribute, call the church at (727) 446-6210, visit its website at www.trinityclearwater.org or write to Trinity Presbyterian Church, 2001 Rainbow Drive, Clearwater FL 33765.