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Otter Ball

Otter Ball

Friday May 17, 2019

Time: 6pm – 10pm

Presented by: TowneBank

The Museum will be closing at 2 pm on Friday, May 17, 2019 in preparation for Otter Ball. 

Celebrate the Virginia Living Museum’s continued conservation efforts with an entertaining evening filled with a fabulous menu, elaborate fanfare, and outstanding live auction!  Formal attire, black tie suggested. Tickets are now on sale!

Purchase Otter Ball Tickets

Become a sponsor. The Otter Ball Conservation Gala Fundraiser is the leading contributor to the museum’s conservation mission. The Otter Ball will help support science education and animal care needs of the museum.

Sponsor Levels

Unable to attend on May 17? Consider a donation now to support our Otter Ball Conservation Gala!

Support Conservation efforts

Presenting Sponsor:

View 2018 Otter Ball photos on Facebook.



Presenting Sponsors:
Special Thanks to our Sponsors:
Abbitt Realty logo
Jeff's Flowers Of Course logo







Catering by:

Live Auctioneer:  Kyle Hause


Live Auction Items


Bobcat Secrets – Be a Keeper

Meet one of the more secretive and fascinating mammals found in Virginia! Bobcats are adaptable, predatory members of the North American cat family. The only wild feline still found in the state, they are common in the Dismal Swamp and the mountains of Virginia and are rarely seen in other parts of the state. Our girl came to the Museum from a wildlife rehabber in North Carolina after being discovered as a pet in the Midwest.

Unfortunately, she needs continual care on her paws due to an improper surgical procedure. That is how she came to the Museum’s sanctuary where she will now live a long, healthy life while educating her community. Help pay for her meals, enrichment, and care at the Virginia Living Museum! Come meet her at your personal ‘Behind the Scenes’ event for a group of 6 with the VLM Animal Care Staff. Learn how to support this incredible animal and prepare her diet and treats for the week. Your name will be listed as the 2019 Bobcat Annual Support Sponsor on the boardwalk exhibit.

Annual Care:$2,200
Opening Bid:$1,000

Red Wolves – Roam with the Endangered

Meet the most endangered mammal in North America, the Red Wolf. The red wolves currently housed at the VLM are part of a Federal Species Survival Plan. Historically, red wolves were seen all over the southeastern United States. However, by 1980, the species was declared extinct in the wild. Red wolves are being reintroduced into the wild to prevent extinction of the species and to help restore the natural ecosystem.

One red wolf currently lives at the Virginia Living Museum sanctuary. Support enrichment and medical care for this endangered animal is needed on a daily basis. Enjoy a personal ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour (group of 6) to learn about his habit, care, nutrition, and status in the wild, and prepare his daily diet. Your name will be listed as the 2019 Red Wolf Annual Support Sponsor on the boardwalk exhibit!

Annual care:$2,500
Opening Bid:$1,000

Baby American Alligator

More information to come.

Annual care:TBA
Opening Bid:TBA

You Otter Support Moe!

Your generous gift will support the care, feeding, and training of our Museum male mascot, Moe. Moe came to the museum after a citizen realized he would not make a good house pet after all. Yes, Moe was raised in a family home, riding in a little red wagon as a young pup. Our Curatorial Director had to jump into his new large aquatic home and help him swim uninhibited. Come meet the fine fellow at your private ‘Behind the Scenes’ event (group of 6) with our Animal Care staff. Learn how to “target train” this incredible animal to receive veterinary checks and prepare his diet and treats for the week. Your name will be listed as the 2019 Annual Support Sponsor on the outdoor exhibit!

Annual care:$2,000
Opening Bid:$850

You Otter Support Molly!

Your gift will support the care, feeding, and training of our Museum female mascot, Molly. Molly joined Moe last year from the West Coast. She needed a home and Moe was more than happy to welcome her! Come meet this lovely lady at your private ‘Behind the Scenes’ event (group of 6) with our Animal Care staff. Learn how to “target train” this incredible animal to receive veterinary checks and prepare her diet and treats for the week. She eats more than Moe, so this one will require a bit more work on your part! Your name will be listed as the 2018 Annual Support Sponsor on the outdoor exhibit!

Annual care:$2,000
Opening Bid:$850

Great Horned Adoptions

Help pay for meals, enrichment and medical care for these beautiful animal ambassadors! Adopt the VLM’s two great horned owls. They are extremely adaptable bird with a vast range and is the most widely distributed true owl in the Americas. Her primary diet is rabbits, rats and mice and voles, although it freely hunts any animal it can overtake, even mid-sized mammals, various birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.

This is a favorite animal ambassador, shown on the Museum floor to thousands of eager minds each year. Our “Old Lady” is now over 30 years old and requires continual care for her eye impairment. The “New Girl” is approximately 9 years old and lives in our sanctuary due to her right broken wing. Help pay for meals, enrichment and medical care for these beautiful animal ambassadors!

Annual care:TBA
Opening Bid:TBA

Name the Sandbar Shark

Bid on naming rights for a Sandbar Shark on display in the Chesapeake Bay Tank. Your gift will guarantee naming rights for the Museum’s newest celebrity!  Your name will be listed as the 2019 Annual Support Sponsor on the outdoor exhibit!

Annual care: TBA
Opening Bid: TBA



Private Stargazing Party

Get lost under the stars at your private party on the VLM Observatory Deck. Your group of 10 will enjoy heavenly inspired hor d’oeuvres and refreshing cocktails as you lose your earthly boundaries discovering unique images in the night sky, seasonal constellations, and visible planets. This unique evening of stargazing, led by Museum Astronomy Curator, Dr. Kelly Herbst, also includes discussions about celestial happenings occurring around the time of your visit and a starry program in the full dome Abbitt Planetarium.

Suggested Retail Value:$1,000
Opening Bid:$750

Museum Birthday Bash

Celebrate a special day at the Virginia Living Museum!

Enjoy a self-guided tour of our 62,000 sq. foot indoor exhibits that showcase a variety of live native animals from the different geographic regions of Virginia, including a Chesapeake Bay Touch Tank and four hands-on Discovery Centers. Then take a stroll along our ¾ mile Outdoor Trail, which showcases the Virginia Garden, Goodson Living Green house, Conservation Garden and our larger animals, including otters, raccoons, bobcats, deer, and more!


  • Private Planetarium show in the Abbitt Planetarium with a special planetarium shout out to the birthday guest of honor!
  • Special feeding and private party room.
  • Free admission to all indoor and outdoor natural history exhibits (up to 30 people including yourselves; children age 2 and under are free to the Museum and are not included in your count). This includes members and non-members. Additional people will be charged $12 per person.
  • Six tables (approx. 6’x2 ½‘) and thirty chairs
  • 20 minutes before and after the party for any additional set-up and clean-up
  • Select your theme: Building Blocks, Butterflies and Owls (girl), Dinosaurs, Princess, Shark, Woodland or Generic Happy Birthday Balloons
  • 6 Themed table cloths
  • Themed plates, cups, utensils and napkins (for 30 people)
  • 3 themed centerpieces and a photo op wall banner with a coordinating theme
  • $5 Gift Certificate to VLM Store for one birthday child
  • VLM Store party bag gift for 14 children
  • Live Animal Show (15 minutes with 2 animals – choose on the day of the party): small mammal, bird or reptile
  • Lightly decorated with a Happy Birthday banner
  • Personalized Take Home Name Sign with your child’s name (8 ½ x 11 keepsake)

Ultimate Birthday Package Value: $450

Opening Bid:TBA

Private VIP Behind-the-Scenes Tour and Cocktail Party

Enjoy an exclusive Behind the Scenes tour of our latest exhibits and accredited research projects as your party of 10 enjoy a fabulous selection of fine wines and cheeses.

Experience a private encounter with several of our native species who have made their homes here at the VLM. Your exclusive Behind the Scenes tour will take you past the glass exterior of our Nolan Chesapeake Bay Aquarium’s dramatic 30,000 gallon tank to see our local creatures from a different and unique perspective. You and your guests will have the opportunity to feed the sharks, experience a private animal encounter with the otters, and learn the latest in the VLM’s ongoing conservation efforts.

Retail Value: $1,000

Opening Bid: $750

Mastodon Preservation Preparation & Tour

Step behind the scenes and experience our extensive non-live collections up close. After exploring our modern to prehistoric specimens, be one of the first people to see one of Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts. Our recently acquired Mastodon fossil is only the second set found in the Commonwealth! Your group will then be able to help us prepare these fossils for future educational programming by applying a protective sealant.

Retail Value: Priceless.  Literally.

Opening Bid: TBA





Enjoy the jazz sounds of Forte in an evening celebrating the VLM and our conservation efforts.

Forte Jazz Band is an eight-piece ensemble hailing from Smithfield, VA. Formed in 1995, the group has performed extensively for events ranging from hometown backyard barbecues to television appearances to performing at the Hampton Jazz Festival in Hampton, VA in 2009 and 2013. Forte has also shared the stage with nationally recognized artists such as The Rippingtons, Eric Marienthal, Kim Waters, and CeCe Winans to name a few. Also in 2009, the group had the opportunity to record an album entitled “Left Behind – At the Train Station” and another in 2013 entitled “Chase the Rhythm.” Forte’s success as a musical force stems from the group’s passion for creating quality musical performances that invite the listener to share in Forte’s love of the art, with innovative and energetic performances as the trademark of the Forte experience.

Join us for a most memorable evening! Sponsorship opportunities & tables are available. Contact Development Director Sarah Wilson at 757-534-7487.