U.S. Points of Light Award – The Regal Swan

November 14 , 2005

The Regal Swan® Awarded Prestigious
U.S. Daily Point of Light Award

ORLANDO, Florida-Swan researchers who pioneered the use of a cattle vaccine against botulism and an equine West Nile Virus vaccine in swans have been notified that they will be awarded the prestigious U.S. Daily Point of Light Award, presented by the Points of Light Foundation in Washington, D.C. The Point of Light award is the nation’s top volunteer award.

The 26-member team, comprised of veterinarians, swan keepers, educators, photographers, writers and other professionals is being honored for its contribution to education. The Regal Swan® is being honored nationwide on Monday, November 14. The researchers will receive a Daily Point of Light Award, number 3,072, on that date and will be featured on the Foundation‚s website: www.PointsofLight.org

The Daily Point of Light Award honors individuals and volunteer groups that have made a commitment to connect Americans through service to help critical needs in their communities. Each weekday, the Foundation honors one volunteer or volunteer effort in the country by presenting them with a Daily Point of Light Award.

The Regal Swan,®Inc. is based in Orlando, Florida and is committed to the humane treatment and veterinary medical care of captive swans. Collaborating with Her Majesty’s Swan Warden, Dr. Christopher Perrins, London, England, the researchers also cooperated with the Moscow Zoo, Moscow, Russia, Cork University, Cork, Ireland and other institutions throughout the world to develop standard veterinary care protocols. The researchers have authored a book on the care of captive swans, titled: Swan Keeper’s Handbook: A Guide to the Care of Captive Swans by Krieger Publishing released in 2003.

The team‚s research was featured in the August 2005 issue of Delta Sky Magazine and Florida State University‚s Headlines TV program showcased the team in October 2005, to highlight Florida State University’s High Magnetic Laboratory which supplied the researchers with microscopic images of swan blood, feathers and an eye cyst produced by a protozoan. The Regal Swan® researchers were the first to identify the protozoan that affects both humans and swans through DNA Sequencing. The testing also identified the transmission vector as water.

Recently, the researchers unveiled a science and reading curriculum for learners, K-12 and adults, based on data garnered during its research. The curriculum is geared toward promoting interest in the sciences and to encourage reading by both children and adults.

Research for the program has been conducted at Orange Lake Resort & Country Club, Orlando, Florida and Lake Morton in Lakeland, Florida. Orange Lake is the world‚s largest single-site timeshare in the world encompassing more than 1,200 acres, and is home to six Mute Swans. Lake Morton is a 40-acre lake in downtown Lakeland that is home to more than 160 swans and three species of swans.

The Regal Swan®, Inc. research team includes:

Geoffrey R. Gardner, D.V.M., Lakeland Veterinary Hospital and president-elect of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, Lakeland, Florida; Christopher W. Brown, D.V.M., Central Florida relief veterinarian; Wade G. Gardner, D.V.M. retired, Lakeland, Florida; Fanchon F. Funk, Ed.D., professor emeritus, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida; Sheila Bolin, M.S., swan keeper and state-licensed wildlife transporter, Orange Lake Resort & Country Club, Orlando, Florida; Rebecca Webb Wilson, J.D., photographer and Lifetime Trustee Memphis Zoological Society, Memphis, Tennessee; Shirley A. Bolin; A.G.S., resort photographer and staff writer, Orange Lake Resort & Country Club, Orlando, Florida; Spence Wilson and Charlie Huggins, logistics coordinators, Memphis, Tennessee.

Other members include:

William G. Osborne, ESQ, Orlando, Florida; Gloria L. Cooper, B.S., Orlando, Florida; Rafael D. Sabino, A.S., Orlando, Florida; JoAnn Belk, Ph.D., Hernando, Mississippi; Maryann J. Ehle, Ph.D., West Liberty State University, West Liberty, West Virginia; Elsa C. Price, Ed.D., professor, Faulkner University, Montgomery, Alabama; Sally Graziano, M.S., scanning electron microscopist, Orlando Science Center, Orlando, Florida; Leonel Mendoza, Ph.D., medical mycologist, Michigan State University, Lansing, Michigan; Shawn Boschert, B.S., horticulturist, Orange Lake Resort & Country Club, Orlando, Florida; Melissa Dousso, Nashville, Tennessee; Lori A. Grindrod, A.A., Boone, North Carolina; Bill Mosher, Orlando, Florida; Kathleen S. Sterling, Orlando, Florida; Peter Thomas, Tallahassee, Florida; Tod Thomas, Tallahassee, Florida; Rob Haynes, Orlando, Florida; Stephen M. Bolin, Tampa, Florida, and Stephen M. Brook, Tampa, Florida. For more information, please visit our website: