Unique Corals Launches “Corals for The Cure” Product Line
14 Feb, 2014
California-based Unique Corals entered the retail aquarium trade a few years ago with a mission to do things differently. That meant supporting sustainable fisheries (they were the exclusive source for EcoAquariums PNG livestock, the successor to the work that started with SEASMART), and supporting aquaculture. Unique Corals is keen to demonstrate that the aquarium industry can be an agent of beneficial change.
On February 10th, 2014, Scott Fellman of Unique Corals announced another new and different contribution; Corals for The Cure. Fellman, who recently lost his father to a rather quick and decisive blow from cancer, felt it was time to fight back.
“It was disheartening to see a loved one literally waste away because of this horrible affliction,” As Fellman wrote on the Unique Corals’ Facebook page. “Some cancers can be defeated with early testing, and new therapies are turning the tide in the battle against this terrible disease. However, funding is constantly needed to support research into these potential cures….To help honor my father, and to show support for the millions of others who are touched by, and will continue to be touched by cancer, Unique Corals has created a small charity to help donate funds to research to help combat this disease. It’s called ‘Corals for The Cure.'”
What hasn’t been discussed in any of the quick-to-press stories that were published earlier this week, is exactly how much will be donated, and where the funds will be going. Fellman was very willing to share those details with us. “We will donate 20% of net profits on the sales of C4C [Corals for The Cure] corals as a donation. We will be donating to the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, and there is a specific lab there that is doing work on Colon cancer that I hope to directly funnel the proceeds to.”
Fellman went on to confide, “It’s a small gesture, but it’s something where I have ‘skin in the game’, as they say, so I’m pretty motivated to make it work. I’m really excited by the initial responses I’ve received. Hopefully, the enthusiasm we’ve seen thus far from the reefing community translates into sales of the corals for donation. I’m particularly touched by some of the poignant personal stories of reefers who have lost loved ones to cancer, or who are dealing with the disease themselves. I actually teared up a bit reading some of them…The hurt is till pretty raw for me.”
In a unique branding move, Unique Corals is marketing these corals on custom frag plugs. As Fellman relayed, “Justin (Credebal) designed these really cool frag plugs in the shape of a lavender ribbon (that’s the symbol for cancer support), and we decided to mount some of our popular frags on them. The goal was to try to offer more than just some ‘leftover stuff’; rather, we wanted to offer reefers corals that they actually want, at prices that make sense. So, we are putting some of our coolest pieces on these plugs. ReefGen is doing the same, as is Mark Poletti and Dan Rigle. I don’t want this to be a “Unique Corals thing”- I want it to be a ‘Reef hobby/industry’ thing; a small reminder that we can make a tiny bit of difference, even with small donations.”
Unique Corals has big plans for this project, stating on their website that, “Our goal is to make ‘Corals for The Cure’ a highly visible, widely-accepted charity that the coral propagating community and reef keeping community at large can participate in.”
More directly, Fellman added in personal communication, “We really hope to make this a respectable charity push that the coral hobby and industry can make their own. It’s pretty grassroots at the moment, and it will be fun evolving it. We hope to have some cool things like shirts and stuff, with proceeds going to charity.”
You can browse all of Unique Coral’s latest “Corals for The Cure” offerings at their website. We’ve saved a few more of our favorites below for posterity!