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Virginia Living Museum Hosts First In-Person Otter Ball Since 2020 Pandemic – Raises $200,665 For Conservation and Education Programs


Newport News, VA (June 28, 2022) – The Virginia Living Museum is pleased to announce the success of the 2022 Otter Ball Conservation Gala and Community Challenge: The first in-person Otter Ball since 2019.

Presented by TowneBank, this celebration of reunion for some and welcoming for others encouraged, inspired and engaged community members to rally together to become ambassadors for conservation, biodiversity, education, and nature. These individuals turned their passion into action and adopted a program, native animal, or educational experience of their choice. 

The Otter Ball is an emotional reminder of the community’s support and love for the Virginia Living Museum and its mission. Conservation sounded with the wolf’s howl, calling the crowd to dinner, and Brian Skinner’s sparkling toast kicked off the enchanted evening. Aerial feats and delightful music enhanced the delicious dinner and program honoring the community that built this beloved Museum. Award-winning VLM Green Teens, veteran volunteers, and lifelong visitors (now board members) shared how they connect and impact conservation on, of all days, National Endangered Species Day. $200,665 was raised for unique conservation and education programs and mission experiences through the passionate live auction/paddle raise and event support!

The top fundraising teams were Abbitt Realty, W.M. Jordan Company, and Vicky Lippolis (Museum Volunteer).  The top fundraising individuals were Rebecca Francese, Karen Velkey, and Jamie Firth.

Generous sponsors for the 2022 Otter Ball included Abbitt Realty Co., Ferguson Cares, Newport News Shipbuilding, a Division of HII, W.M. Jordan Company, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Wason, Casey Auto Group, Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Velkey, Ms. Ashby Kilgore, Riverside Health System, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Banks III, KPMG, LLP, Winner’s Circle Automotive Group, Mr. and Mrs. Monty Mason, Pearson Toyota, Kaufman & Canoles, P.C., Bowditch Ford, Jeff’s Flowers Of Course!, Amory LeCuyer of Hampton House Auctions, Josh and Jamie Photography, and St. George Brewing Company.

Entertainment was provided by Something Different Duo, Williamsburg Youth Orchestra, Enchanted Otter Aerialist (KA Art Productions), Stage Right Lighting, and Indian Creek Productions.  

Be ready for the next Otter Ball Conservation Gala and Community Challenge in May, 2023.

The Virginia Living Museum is a leader in natural living exhibits! Native Virginia mammals, plants, marine life, reptiles, amphibians, and birds are presented and honored for their ability to connect people to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, the Museum is a successful public/private partnership with the City of Newport News and all guests. Accredited by both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Alliance of Museums, the Museum’s high standards are its hallmark, as only fourteen institutions share this designation in the country. It is a certified Virginia Green attraction dedicated to environmentally friendly practices. Located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News (I-64, exit 258-A) it is open 9 to 5 daily. Learn more at, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or call 757-595-1900.

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