Ask the Swan Specialist

Florida Governor's Points of Light Award to The Regal Swan®
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 13 April 2006

For Immediate Release

Contact: Shirley Bolin

Telephone: (407) 931-6838


U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney Presents the Florida Governor's Points of Light Award to The Regal Swan®.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA-April 13, 2006- U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney presented the Florida Governor's Points of Light Award to The Regal Swan® on Tuesday, April 11 at Orange Lake Resort & Country Club in Orlando, Florida. The Regal Swan,®Inc., based in Orlando, Florida is committed to the humane treatment and veterinary medical care of captive swans. Researchers pioneered the use of a cattle vaccine against botulism and an equine West Nile Virus vaccine in swans. They were recognized by Florida Governor Jeb Bush for their contribution to education.

The 27-member team, comprised of veterinarians, swan keepers, educators, photographers, writers and other professionals received a Governor's Points of Light Award, number 328, for the week of April 10 in the state of Florida. Congressman Feeney presented the award for Governor Bush and represents the 24th District of Florida, which covers portions of Brevard, Orange, Seminole, and Volusia counties. Congressman Feeney, elected in 2002, was previously Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

British Vice Consul Rebecca Budgen, British Consulate, Orlando, Florida was on hand to help the team celebrate their award and contributions to swan care. During the course of its research, The Regal Swan collaborated with Her Majesty's Swan Warden, Dr. Christopher Perrins, who is based at Oxford University in London, England. Dr. Perrins is responsible for the health and well being of Her Majesty’s flock and oversees the annual Swan Upping on the River Thames.

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 were also the first to write a comprehensive 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 research team and Krieger publishing presented copies of the book to both Budgen and Feeney during the special event.

Other dignitaries attending the event included: Kay Kammel, senior-vice president of programs, Governor’s Points of Light Foundation, Tallahassee, Florida; Joanne Cotterman, district Sales manager, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, sponsor of the Governor’s Points of Light Award; Justine Florez, Central Florida field director, Florida Department of Education, Orlando, Florida; Robert, Maxine and Don Krieger, Krieger Publishing; Bill Tinsley and Roy Southerland representing the city of Lakeland, Florida; Mark McHugh, chairman of the Orlando Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Jim Murphy, chairman, Osceola County Tourist Development Commission.

The Governor's Points of Light Award, sponsored by Royal Caribbean International® and Celebrity Cruises®, recognizes a Florida resident or organization that demonstrates exemplary service to the community. Award recipients are announced weekly. A panel of judges comprised of leaders in the areas of volunteerism and service evaluate all nominations and make recommendations to Governor Bush. The Volunteer Florida Foundation manages the program. For more information, please

On Monday, November 14, 2005, the researchers received a U.S. Daily Point of Light Award, number 3,072, presented by the Points of Light Foundation in Washington, D.C. and are featured on the Foundation's The U.S. Daily Point of Light award is the nation's top volunteer award.

The team's research was featured in the August 2005 issue of Delta Sky Magazine. Florida State University's Headlines TV program also 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. 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 science and reading activities for learners, K-12 and adults, based on data garnered during its research. The activities are focused on 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. Developed by Kemmons Wilson, founder of Holiday Inn®, the resort encompasses more than 1,250 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, three species. For more information on The Regal Swan, please visit:

The Regal Swan®, Inc. research team includes:
Geoffrey R. Gardner, D.V.M., Lakeland Veterinary Hospital and president of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, Lakeland, Florida; Christopher W. Brown, D.V.M., Union Park Veterinary Hospital, Orlando, Florida; Fanchon F. Funk, Ed.D., professor emerita, 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, range Lake Resort & Country Club, Orlando, Florida; Spence Wilson and Charlie Huggins, logistics coordinators, Memphis, Tennessee.

Educational and professional members include:
Wade G. Gardner, D.V.M., retired, Lakeland, Florida; Kathleen S. Sterling, Pawley Island, South Carolina; 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; Sherry Bowen, M.S., Indian River Community College, Ft. Pierce, Florida; Leonel Mendoza, Ph.D., medical mycologist, Michigan State University, Lansing, Michigan; Shawn Boschert, B.S., horticulturist, Orange Lake Resort & Country Club, Orlando, Florida; William G. Osborne, ESQ, Orlando, Florida; Gloria L. Cooper, B.S., Orlando, Florida; Rafael D. Sabino, A.S., Orlando, Florida;Melissa Dousso, Nashville, Tennessee; Lori A. Grindrod, A.A., Boone, North Carolina; JoAnn Belk, Ph.D., Hernando, Mississippi;Bill Mosher, 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.

U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney presents the Governor's Points of Light Award to The Regal Swan®

The Honorees

British Vice Consul Rebecca Budgen with Sheila Bolin and cygnet