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Marinatown to host Safari Festival

March 1, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Marinatown isn't exactly known as a place to go for a safari, but this weekend, kids of all ages will get a taste of what it's like to be on one.

The riverside attraction will host a Safari Festival on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., a fundraiser hosted by Team 2HH, a group that raises money to help families and children with special needs.

Safari Todd will bring baby alligators, exotic and native snakes, tarantulas, scorpions and his newest animal, Ambassador Thorn, a black-throat monitor. Todd will offer up the animals for photo ops and offer educational instruction throughout the event.

"It's fun and the biggest draw will be Safari Todd, who's coming in from Orlando. It will be educational for the kids and the kids will have a chance to take pictures and hold the animals," said Caryn Davis-Soto, one of the organizers, said.

The event will feature free parking and admission, as well as free popcorn, an eating contest, door prizes, raffles, tattoos, face painting, a bounce house and much more.

The first 25 families entering will receive a free goody bag.

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Two Happy Hands is a sign language academy that helps local families with special needs to receive communication and sign language instruction.

2HH is the fundraising, non-profit wing of the organization.

They teach all ages and abilities, from teachers to private citizens. They offer group classes, private tutoring, educator workshops, home visits, craft days, at work and more.

Davis-Soto, one of the instructors, said the group also helps raise money for scholarships for families who have children with special needs who need to learn sign language to communicate with their child.

The group is doing this particular event for the first time, although they also do a fundraiser in October. The goal is to raise a few thousand dollars.

Happy Hands is a part of the Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida, Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida, and Autism Speaks.

For more information, call 233-6517 or go to



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