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Otter Ball

Friday May 20, 2022

Time: 6pm-10pm

The Museum will be closing at 2pm on Friday, May 20, 2022 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!

Each year, the Gala compliments the Virginia Living Museum’s mission by featuring an artfully prepared menu with local and sustainable resources by the talented Taste Catering & Events.

Following the exquisite dinner is a thrilling live auction and paddle raise led by local auctioneer Amory LeCuyer, of Hampton House Auctions and live music by the jazz ensemble, Something Different Duo, not to mention amazing and inspiring aerial feats performed by an enchanting otter! 

Semi formal attire. Tickets on sale April 2022.

Purchase 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 20th ? Consider joining the Otter Ball Community Challenge from April 15th through May 19th. Become an ambassador for the Museum to raise
funds for conservation, animal welfare, and biodiversity in your community!

There are three ways to be an ambassador:

  1. Form a Team – a group of individuals raising funds together (an office, a family, etc.).
  2. Join an Established Team
  3. Join as an Individual – you, an individual, raising funds from your peer group
Join the community Challenge

Presenting Sponsor:

View 2018 Otter Ball photos on Facebook.

Live Auction Items

Live Animals
  • Meet one of the more secretive and fascinating mammals found in Virginia! Bobcats are highly adaptable 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. Our young bobcat has an extraordinary story of survival. Sarge, who was named by Museum guests, survived a car strike as a kitten. Despite undergoing a lifesaving surgery to amputate his front right leg, he is an active and curious young cat that can’t be slowed down!
  • Help us pay for his meals, enrichment, and care! Come meet him at your personal ‘Behind the Scenes’ event for a group of 6 with the Bird and Mammal Curator. Learn more about this incredible animal and how the Museum cares for them. You will be listed as the 2022 Bobcat Annual Support Sponsor.
    • Suggested Retail Value: $2,200
    • Opening Bid: $1,000
  • Adopt and name the Museum’s newest feathered trio. Help pay for their meals, enrichment, training, and care. Our three ducks are domestic descendants of the mallard ducks you see residing in Virginia ponds, lakes, and wetlands. These three fowls were raised as ducklings by Museum staff and are always ready to swim and eat their favorite treats of greens, fruit, and mealworms. The names chosen will be used for all other educational appearances, as they greet people of all ages to educate them about bird adaptations and abilities!
  • Help our mission of connecting people to nature and support the Duck Trio. Your gift will guarantee naming rights for the Museum’s newest ducks. Your name will be recognized as the 2022 Duck Sponsor on the exhibit!
    • Annual cost: $1,750
    • Opening Bid: $800
  • This adoption won’t stink! Adopt our striped skunk “Lux” and help pay for meals, enrichment, and medical care for this extraordinary animal ambassador! Skunks are omnivores and will consume just about anything they find including fruits, vegetables, insects, and small animals.
  • Come meet him at your personal ‘Behind the Scenes’ event for a group of 6, hosted by a Museum Educator. You will learn how he takes an active role in his own healthcare through
    positive reinforcement training. You’ll gain a better appreciation for this often misunderstood and incredibly unique Virginian native.

    • Annual care: $1,750
    • Opening Bid: $900
  • Meet the most endangered mammal in North America, the red wolf. The red wolves currently living at the Museum are part of a Federal Species Survival Program. Historically, red wolves were seen all over the southeastern United States. However, today there are only approximately 15-20 that live in one managed wildlife area in North Carolina. The Virginia Living Museum is one of 44 approved facilities to care for this species.
  • Please support enrichment and medical care for this critically endangered animal at the VLM today! Enjoy a personal ‘Meet the Keeper’ tour (group of 6) to learn about the Red Wolf’s habitat, care, nutrition, and status in the wild. Learn how our keepers prepare their daily diet, and enjoy a special enrichment activity. You will be listed as the 2022 Red Wolf Annual Support Sponsor on the boardwalk exhibit!
    • Suggested Retail Value: $2,500
    • Opening Bid: $1,200
  • Three-year-old American Alligator, named “Newt”, came to the VLM in the fall of 2018 as a month-old hatchling that could fit in their keeper’s hands. Keepers started calling
    this gator “Newt” because they were so small (weighing only ~80 grams), and the nickname stuck! Now, in the spring of 2022, Newt is over 3 feet in length and weighs nearly 6 kg (about 13 pounds). Newt will continue to grow and will eventually be over 8 feet long and weigh over 200 pounds as an adult.
  • Support Newt’s care, feeding, training, and enrichment here at the Museum and get the chance to come meet this charismatic reptile while our expert Herpetology staff guides you through a private ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour where you and 5 of your guests will learn about the alligator’s training, dietary needs, veterinary care, and more! You will be listed as the 2022 Alligator Annual Sponsor!
    • Annual Care: $500
    • Opening Bid: $350
  • Your generous gift will support the care, feeding, and training of our Museum male North American river otter mascot, Moe! He was rescued as a pup when discovered as an illegal house pet. Moe is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) North American river otter Species Survival Plan. We are proud to care for Moe as he helps educate the Museum’s guests year round!
  • Come meet Moe (and Molly) at your private feeding and animal care talk (group of 6) with our Bird & Mammal Curator. Learn about their unique adaptations for surviving in cold climates and toss them their favorite fish treats! Your name will be listed as Moe’s 2022 Annual Support Sponsor.
    • Annual Care: $2000
    • Opening Bid: $1000
  • Your gift will support the care, feeding, and training of our Museum female North American river otter, Molly. Molly came to the Museum from California as recommended as a breeding companion for Moe by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ North American river otter Species Survival Plan. The two represent valuable members of their species, educating the Museum’s guests with humor and jovial antics!
  • Come meet this lovely lady at your private feeding and animal care talk (group of 6) with our Bird & Mammal Curator. Learn about their unique adaptations for surviving in cold climates and toss them their favorite fish treats! Your name will be listed as Molly’s 2022 Annual Support Sponsor on the outdoor exhibit.
    • Annual Care: $2000
    • Opening Bid: $1000
  • The Museum’s Lined Seahorse breeding program promotes the conservation of this important aquatic species by providing an alternative source to the wild captured seahorse trade. Advancements in husbandry techniques allowed us to acquire captive-bred animals as opposed to wild-caught via a trade with other AZA institutions. The Museum participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP), raising our own seahorse populations for exhibit and trading with other facilities participating in the same plan to promote genetic diversity and to avoid others having to collect from the wild.
  • Come see the tiny fully-formed seahorse babies in the nursery. If you’re lucky, you may see a male seahorse give birth – a sight to behold. Help pay for the care and maintenance of our seahorse species survival program.
    • Annual Care: $2000
    • Opening Bid: $1000
VLM Experiences
  • Get lost under the stars at your private party on the VLM Observatory Deck. Over the course of two hours, your group of 10 will enjoy heavenly inspired desserts 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
  • Celebrate a special day at the Virginia Living Museum! Enjoy indoor exhibits that showcase a variety of live native animals from the 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 native animals, including otters, raccoons, bobcats, deer, and more. Don’t forget the Dinosaur Discovery Trail!
  • Package Includes:
    • Free admission to all indoor and outdoor natural history exhibits (up to 20 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 $15 per person.
    • A party room for 2.5 hours – 30 minutes to set up, 1.5 hours party time, 30 minutes to clean up
    • Tables (approx. 6’x 2½’) and chairs
    • Printable invitation
    • All day admission to the Virginia Living Museum for all guests
    • Gift for birthday child
    • 4 tables in party room
    • 20 guests (all individuals attending the party who are 3+)
    • 2 animal ambassadors (Box turtle, Pond turtle, Lizard, Snake, Insect/arachnid, Frog, Salamander, Aquatic invertebrate, Rabbit, or small bird)
    • Package Value: $300
    • Opening Bid: $200
  • Today few groups have access to Fountain Cave–a handful of museums, universities, and professional spelunkers. The Virginia Living Museum is one such group and you have the chance to experience this elusive and beautiful cave!
  • You and your 5 guests will traverse the rocky trail through Fountain Cave in Grottoes, Virginia for 2 hours of cave exploration (9 hours with travel). Using only headlights to guide your way, this adventure will take you through the twilight, middle and dark zones of a geologically old cave. Learn about cave formations, the ecological importance of caves, and maybe encounter a cave animal or two. Note: This is a strenuous trip. Participants must be 13 years or older at the time of the trip and be able to walk easily without assistance on the uneven ground including some steep slopes.
    • Package Value: $1,000
    • Opening Bid: $600

More information to come!

  • Enjoy the summer with your family or friends at local attractions in Hampton Roads!
    Package includes:

    • Four admission tickets to the VLM
    • Family Fun Pack to The Mariners’ Museum
    • Two Lionsbridge Football Club Season Ticket Wristbands
    • Two Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway 2019 Season Passes
    • Summer 2022 Membership to the Warwick Yacht Club
    • Suggested Total Retail Value: $1,400
    • Opening Bid: $750

More information to come


More information to come

Live Auctioneer: Amory LeCuyer


Something Different Duo

Something Different Duo is a father /daughter team that provides a quality easy-listening style that covers genres ranging from old jazzy standards to modern radio and everything in between.

Ashley Wenner is a wife and mother of two beautiful little girls. Vocal music graduate of Shenandoah University in Winchester, Ashley has always loved music. She has been fortunate to play with many talented musicians, and has finally focused her sights on her favorite genre, jazz and classic era standards.

Brad Sindle is a long-ago medically-retired airline pilot, rare cancer survivor, sailing instructor, caretaker of his parents, and father of two exceptional children. Until October 2021, Brad was the keyboard player for the local legendary 50 year-old soul/horn band, Slapnation for 17 years.

Together, Brad and his daughter Ashley have been making people and tap their toes, sing, and dance for over eight years. Both will tell you what a blessing to their relationship that this musical endeavor has been.

Special thanks to our sponsors:


Catering by: