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Otter Ball raises $120,000 for Virginia Living Museum

Newport News, VA (May 30, 2018) – The Virginia Living Museum is pleased to announce a successful  2018 Otter Ball Conservation Gala held on Friday, May 11.

The elegant affair was presented by TowneBank, and with approximately 200 guests in attendance, the museum raised an impressive $120,000. Funds raised will support the Virginia Living Museum’s mission to deliver engaging natural science and conservation education through quality exhibits, live animal demonstrations, 1,300 classes and programs and special events throughout the year.

Bradford N. Patten, President of the Board of Trustees, recognized Mr. Brian K. Skinner, recipient of the highest award that the Virginia Living Museum bestows on an individual, business or organization that has made a significant and lasting contribution- the Golden Paw. Brian is the epitome of community leadership and service. Brian has supported the mission of the Virginia Living Museum during a critical time of growth and financial sustainability. His service includes Past President of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the Annual Fund and multiple committees. As a member of the 50th Anniversary Future Ready Campaign Committee, Brian helped raise 5 million dollars for science and sustainability. As a founding Chair of the Otter Ball, Brian has invested time and talent to help create the signature fundraising event to support Conservation at the Museum and for our community. His personal and professional leadership has enabled growth for the incredible community effort called the Virginia Living Museum.

The Gala complimented the Virginia Living Museums’ mission by featuring a menu prepared with local and sustainable resources. Museum programs such as the award winning Volunteer Corps, The Teen Conservationists and Oyster Reef Restoration were highlighted and honored. Following dinner a live auction led by Kyle Hause and live music provided by Brandon Bower Trio completed the enchanting evening.

Supporting sponsors for the Otter Ball were Abbitt Realty, Ferguson, Harry and Judy Wason, Newport News Shipbuilding, Spain Commercial, W.M. Jordan, New Kent Winery, Riverside Hospital, Spectrum, Tidewater Interior Wall & Ceiling, David A. Nice Builders, Bay Electric Company, DPS Inc., Casey Auto Group, Bowditch Ford, Inc., Auto Haus, Satellite Communications Systems, Inc., Ritchie Development, Robert Brown and Associates, Marquee Homes, Inc, Bob Harper Photography and Jeff’s Flowers.

The Otter Ball Conservation Gala Fundraiser is the leading contributor to the Museum’s conservation mission. The community’s continuous support enables the Museum to sustain and strengthen conservation through educational experiences for the community.

Left to right: Lindsay Dombruski, Jacob Dombruski, JoAnna Dombruski, Joe Dombruski, Charlain Roberts, Chad Roberts, Will Townsend, Kate Townsend​

Left to right: George Goodson, George Matthews, John Q.A. Mattern

Left to right: Rebecca Kleinhample, Candi Skinner, Brian Patten, Brian Skinner​

Left to right: Ross Mugler, Martha Mugler, Bill Brown, Eleanor Brown

Left to right: Susannah Wornom, Mary Bateman, Isabel Hatchett, Carolyn Abbitt​

Left to right: Judy Morris, Henry Morris, Muriel Bowditch, Bill Bowditch


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