Rodney Butler and Rob Valenti Set to Make a Splash for Mystic Aquarium's Animal Rescue Program

Esteemed community leaders Rodney Butler, Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, and Rob Valenti, President/General Manager of the Valenti Family of Dealerships, will be among the hale and hardy to participate in Mystic Aquarium’s 7th Annual Seal Splash on Saturday, February 22, 2020.  This arctic plunge benefits the organization’s Animal Rescue Program. 

The duo will dive into the frigid waters of Long Island Sound at Eastern Point Beach in Groton alongside many other ardent supporters. In total, more than 100 people will participate. 

Both Butler and Valenti have accepted the challenge to jump in for the cause if they can raise $25,000 each. 

“I am honored and excited to take the plunge at this year’s Seal Splash and support a cause that is near and dear to my heart,” said Chairman Butler. “Braving the icy waters will be a small price to pay to raise funds that will both support animals in need and educate the community about our marine friends.”

Chairman Butler has been a longtime supporter of Mystic Aquarium and has served on the Board of Trustees for over 10 years. Under his leadership, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has been a strong partner in animal care, education and conservation; most notably beluga conservation research and the Mystic Aquarium North Slope Borough Mashantucket Educational and Cultural Exchange Program. Chairman Butler’s children are also both graduates of Mystic Aquarium’s Sea School pre-school program. 

“I’m excited to support Mystic Aquarium as part of Seal Splash,” said Valenti. “I feel fortunate to have the help of family, friends, employees and community as I strive to meet and hopefully exceed the challenge goal to benefit the Animal Rescue Program.” 

As Ocean Society members, Valenti and his family have been long-time supporters of Mystic Aquarium. Valenti is Chairman of the Aquarium’s President’s Council and is and a member of the organization’s annual Golf Classic planning committee.

“The leadership that Rodney and Rob have shown for Mystic Aquarium is invaluable,” said Dr. Stephen M. Coan, President and CEO of Mystic Aquarium. “That they will go to these lengths to support our programs speaks not only to their character but also their commitment and compassion for Mystic Aquarium and our mission. We are incredibly fortunate to have their ongoing support.” 

Mystic Aquarium’s dedicated Animal Rescue Team provides specialized and compassionate care for the rehabilitation of stranded and rescued animals with the goal of releasing them back into their natural habitat. Since 1975, Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program has been rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing sick, injured and stranded marine animals along 1,000 miles of coastline throughout Connecticut, Rhode Island and Fishers Island, New York. Under the direction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service, Mystic Aquarium responds to hundreds of stranded animal calls each year and provides support to our colleagues at other stranding facilities around the country.

Anyone interested in joining Chairman Butler and Mr. Valenti can register for Seal Splash 2020 by visiting  Registration is only $25 and supports the Animal Rescue Program.  A host of fundraising incentives and prizes are also available!

About Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program
Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program supports animals in need and educates the public about the marine environment and its inhabitants. The public is encouraged to call the Aquarium’s 24-hour hotline at 860.572.5955 ext. 107 if they encounter a marine mammal or sea turtle in Conn., R.I. or Fishers Island, N.Y.  Mystic Aquarium is a founding member of the Northeast Region Stranding Network. This network is comprised of organizations along the eastern sea coast which have facilities and trained staff to care for sick and injured animals.  Marine mammals are protected species, so only groups and facilities authorized by the National Marine Fisheries Service are permitted to handle these animals.

About Mystic Aquarium
Mystic Aquarium, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is counted among the nation’s leading aquariums, offering exemplary care to a variety of species while also serving as the northeast’s premier marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation center. Robust conservation and education programming along with unparalleled visitor experiences serve to strengthen personal connections to the animals and their environments. The mission of Mystic Aquarium is to inspire people to care for and protect the ocean planet through conservation, education and research, and introduces approximately 800,000 guests annually to thousands of animals through structured interpretations, specially curated exhibits and hands-on interactions. As a leading research organization, Mystic Aquarium employs a full staff of scientists engaged in projects focused on the conservation and sustainability of our ocean planet.