Aquarium of the Pacific raises $139,000 for animal care, education and conservation programs • Long Beach Post News

The annual event, which met in person for the first time since before the pandemic, supports the aquarium’s unrestricted funds, particularly for animal care, education and conservation programs.

“It was so fun to see the aquarium so lively and bustling,” said Erin Keim, development event coordinator. “It’s such a fun and high energy event, it was really great to see the aquarium in action again.”

Whether it’s upgrading the aquarium’s 100+ exhibits, providing high-quality food for its sea life, or helping fund school field trips, the Sea Fare Chowderfest is an integral part of the effort. of the facility, Keim said.

“These are the foundations of our mission and our vision,” Keim said. “We are a destination where people can come to see, learn and experience all things Pacific Ocean.”

The $139,000 raised was in line with the aquarium’s goal, Keim said.

“We were very happy with the number of people we lifted,” she said. “These educational programs only train the next generations of scientists and STEM participants who can continue our so important work in conservation and be a conservation leader in Southern California.”

More than 700 attendees and more than 20 local businesses, including King’s Seafood, Gladstone’s, Butter and Cream Bakery, Polly’s Pies and Fine Feathers Kombucha Company, took part in the sold-out event, where guests enjoyed savory entrees, fresh baked goods, unlimited craft beer and wine, live music and auctions.

Among the festivities of the event was a chowder contest, where guests tasted 14 different types of chowder and voted for their favorite, ultimately choosing the Korean version of Sura Korean BBQ & Tofu House’s clam chowder. as a winner.

“It was fun to see restaurants get creative,” Keim said.

Unlike previous years, the event expanded across the various aquarium exhibits, with food and drink offered inside the aquarium galleries.

“You really chose your own adventure to figure out which samples you wanted to try . . . while experiencing our incredible exhibits and collection of over 12,000 animals,” Keim said.

The event’s live and silent auction included a 45-gallon home aquarium, tickets to the 2023 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, Lakers and Clippers tickets, as well as trips to various destinations across South America. California.

Planning, especially for auctions, usually begins a year in advance.

The event itself, meanwhile, also included great staff participation, with livestock staff caring for the animals interacting with guests and answering questions.

“It’s a lot of collaboration with the whole aquarium,” Keim said. “It really takes a whole village to organize this event.”

Chowderfest is one of the aquarium’s two main fundraisers each year, and the nonprofit is currently gearing up for its Blue Whale Gala in June, with tickets expected to go on sale in early 2023. .

“It’s our 25th anniversary year, so we’re really excited to take a look at how the aquarium has evolved and where we’re going in the future,” Keim said.

Boyd S. Abbott