The Magic of Madagascar Comes to Life at the South Carolina Aquarium’s Annual Gala

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An African-themed Night Featuring Drummers, Dancers, Great Music and a Mouth-watering Menu

An Evening In Madagascar

Take a trip to the Island of Madagascar and back without ever leaving the state at the South Carolina Aquarium’s Conservation Gala, An Evening in Madagascar. This black-tie event, taking place April 28, 2012, recognizes individuals and organizations that have worked to protect the environment and our oceans. This year the South Carolina Aquarium will present its Environmental Stewardship Awards to Barbara Block and The Kiawah Conservancy. This year’s theme, An Evening in Madagascar, will celebrate the Aquarium’s newest exhibit, Madagascar Journey, with a night of African culture and animals along with food, dancing and fun! The charitable evening will raise funds for The South Carolina Aquarium’s diverse environmental, education, and conservation programs.

More about this year’s Environmental Stewardship Awards recipients:
The Kiawah Conservancy: A chartered 501c(3) grassroots organization founded by island residents in 1997 to preserve the natural habitat of Kiawah Island located in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Since its inception in 1997, the Conservancy has preserved 22 properties that total 329 acres of pristine barrier island habitat. The Conservancy also utilizes several research programs to support its land preservation and management efforts including a bobcat GPS collar project to examine habitat use, incorporation of bobcat management guidelines to preserve those habitats and denning areas, and painted bunting research to identify habitat needs for the rapidly declining bird population. Education is also central to the Conservancy’s mission, members work to provide information to island residents in order to help preserve native species of plants and animals through appropriate landscaping.

Barbara Block: An American marine biologist and professor based out of Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, takes a multidisciplinary approach to studying how large predators such as tunas, billfish and sharks, live and travel in the open ocean. Block and her team use electronic tags to track the fish, combining that data with physiological and genetic analyses to develop population and ecological models to help us understand these fishes’ roles in the ocean ecosystem. Block established the Tuna Research and Conservation Center with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and is a 1996 MacArthur Fellow and recipient of the Presidential young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation.

In addition to the awards ceremony, the Gala will feature a cocktail reception with African drummers and dancers, a gourmet dinner, dancing and an After-Affair that will take place inside the Aquarium. During the After-Affair, guests will be able to see the new Madagascar Journey exhibit which includes ring tail lemurs, a Nile crocodile, panther chameleon and the other Aquarium exhibits. MWV is the presenting sponsor of the new exhibit.

The gala takes place April 28, 2012 from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Individual tickets are $300 per person; ten person table reservations are also available. If your taste prefers the late evening activities, guests can purchase tickets to the After-Affair only, which starts at 9:00 p.m. at a price of $75. Contact Tanya Fitzgerald at tfitzgerald(at)scaquarium(dot)org or (843) 579-8540 for more information about this event, including tickets and sponsorship opportunities.

For all media inquiries, please contact Kate Dittloff at (843) 579-8660 or kdittloff(at)scaquarium(dot)org.

About the South Carolina Aquarium:
The South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston’s most visited attraction, features thousands of amazing aquatic animals from river otters and sharks to loggerhead turtles in more than 60 exhibits representing the rich biodiversity of South Carolina from the mountains to the sea. Dedicated to promoting education and conservation, the Aquarium also presents fabulous views of Charleston harbor and interactive exhibits and programs for visitors of all ages.

The South Carolina Aquarium, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and is open Daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Aquarium is closed Thanksgiving Day, half day Dec. 24 (open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Dec. 25. Admission prices are: Toddlers (1 and under) free; Youth (2-11) $12.95; Adults (12-61) $19.95; Seniors (62+) $18.95. The Aquarium plus the 4-D Theater experience is free for Toddlers, $17.95 for Children, $24.95 for Adults, and $23.95 for Seniors. The 4-D Theater experience only is $6.95 for Children, Adults and Seniors and $2.95 for Members and Member Guests. Military, senior, college and group discounts are available. For more information call 843-720-1990 or visit scaquarium.org. Memberships are available by calling 843-577-FISH

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