From 4-H Farm Girl to Mote Donor
Shirley Fein never slows down. Maybe it's because she was raised that way, on a Connecticut dairy and poultry farm where real labor and long hours were all in a day's work. She helped to feed the animals. She was her father's helper as they delivered milk and eggs door to door. And she did a myriad other daily chores. She also excelled as a 4-H girl and won many blue ribbons for her homemaking projects.
Shirley first learned about the marine world in high school in nearby Jewett City, a small town not far from the coast. She did not go on to college (at that time), as it was a privilege only accorded to her brothers. She was 21 years old when she left the farm and moved on to new adventures in New York City.
Shirley found entry-level employment in the garment industry, quickly rising to a sales position in baby clothing where she worked for many years. Her life took a lovely turn when she met a young New Yorker, Arnold Fein. He was working in the insurance and pension plans field and was thrilled to be invited to the farm where he met Shirley's parents and brothers. They married and, in due course, a girl child was born. Tina Debra grew up to be both beautiful and highly intelligent, which was no surprise.
When Tina was in high school, Shirley enrolled at St. Peter's University in New Jersey, where they lived at the time, and earned a degree in humanities with emphasis on world religions, music and writing. She graduated cum laude!
Exploring the Marine World
Both Shirley and Arnold had an early interest in travel and added to their marine knowledge as they travelled the world. On a cruise in the Indian Ocean they met Jacques Cousteau, who was familiar with Mote Marine Laboratory and knew Kumar. It was a thrilling encounter. Arnold, for his part, had an abiding love of the sea and fishing, which he enjoyed when they vacationed in Florida. After retirement, they took up permanent residence on Longboat Key and quickly became involved in community affairs.
They became active volunteers for many organizations. Among their keenest interests were the research programs of Mote Marine Laboratory. Arnold and Shirley both became major donors and members of the Mote Legacy Society. Arnold named Mote Marine Laboratory as a beneficiary in his charitable remainder unitrust and served on the Mote Advisory Council until his death in 2010, when Shirley was invited to take his seat on the Council. She has named Mote the sole beneficiary in her own C.R.U.T.
Show Your Support
There are many ways to support Mote's Marine Science and Education programs. You may want to talk to The Development Office at 941-388-4441, Ext. 309 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll be glad you did.