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Mystic Aquarium and African Penguin Artists Bring Paintings to Middlesex Health

May 16, 2023

Essex, CT (May 16, 2023) - Middlesex Health's Mayer Center, a state-of-the-art facility that provides comprehensive care for children and adolescents with various developmental challenges, received a unique and exciting donation from Mystic Aquarium. Animal care staff and two African penguins, the featured artists, from Mystic Aquarium delivered artwork created by members of the penguin colony, to surprise patients and staff members. 

The idea for this extraordinary donation stemmed from a request made by Tricia Coppola, the Manager of Outpatient Therapy at Middlesex Health. Tricia reached out to Mystic Aquarium, inquiring about a donation of animal artwork with accompanying bios and pictures. Recognizing the potential to bring joy and excitement to the children, especially those on the autism spectrum, Tricia believed this would be a wonderful addition to The Mayer Center's environment. "I thought our children would truly love paintings of this nature.” 

In response to Tricia's heartfelt request, Mystic Aquarium instantly and graciously agreed to donate artwork created by the African penguins, as well as by the California sea lions, that call Mystic Aquarium home. These paintings will not only brighten the walls of The Mayer Center but also will serve as a source of inspiration and delight for the young patients. 

On May 16, Mystic Aquarium brought their heartwarming donation to The Mayer Center. Alongside Aquarium staff, two penguin ambassadors were present to greet patients and staff members and proudly present the artwork. This event was an exclusive experience for patients and staff at The Mayer Center, creating a memorable and uplifting moment for all involved. 

"We are grateful to Mystic Aquarium for sharing their animal artwork with us," says Brian Taber, Director of Physical Rehabilitation at Middlesex Health. "These paintings will help ensure that The Mayer Center is both a fun and inviting space for the children in our community. Meeting the Aquarium's penguins was a bonus for our patients, their families and our staff!" 

“There is nothing more important than community. We are honored to be a part of the experience for the children at the Mayer Center. The penguins and their paintings always bring a smile to your face.” says Meagan Seacor, Vice President of External Relations. 

The Mayer Center, established in November 2022, is a comprehensive facility that offers developmental services to children and adolescents facing developmental challenges, including autism. It was created to address the growing demand for the diagnosis and treatment of developmental disorders in Connecticut.