Lisa Jo Randgaard was born with a serious congenital heart condition that presented extraordinary physical challenges during her too-brief 43 years, but she battled hard to overcome these difficulties, and continued to inspire everyone with her wit, wisdom, and generosity. One particular passion for her was wildlife and its protection, especially sea turtles. She took great joy in supporting Sea Turtle Conservancy in a variety of ways, one of which was adopting turtles such as Zoe and Mango, in whom she saw strength, yet considerable vulnerability. Lisa could relate personally to this life struggle, and the parallels with her own life fostered in her a special level of compassion and empathy. Lisa introduced others to STC and its online sea turtle migration tracking program, and she was always well-versed on the migration routes and miles traveled by various turtles. When Lisa passed away unexpectedly from complications of her disease in May 2012, her parents and three siblings chose to honor her as a committed conservationist by establishing The Lisa Jo Randgaard Fund, making it the first member-initiated endowment fund since STC was founded in 1959.
Lisa's family approached STC about creating an endowment fund as a lasting legacy for their beloved daughter and sister to provide ongoing annual support for the organization's many sea turtle conservation programs. The family set a goal of building the fund to at least $50,000, and they warmly invite other STC supporters to contribute to help ensure that "Lisa's Fund" is an enduring catalyst for sea turtle preservation with annual proceeds used for ongoing sea turtle research, conservation and education programs. STC is honored to establish The Lisa Jo Randgaard Fund in recognition of Lisa's life, and her loyal membership and tireless passion for sea turtles.