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Party, party, party at the Aquarium of the Pacific

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Hey, everyone, party, party, party! I was going to write more about the top 10 ocean issues that are a part of the Aquarium of the Pacific’s “Ocean on the Edge” theme for its 10th anniversary year, but will hold off on that in order to talk about two parties that I think you may find of interest, the first because of a celebration that the Aquarium held to fete the 10th anniversary and all who work at the Aquarium and the second because it involves winning a great Aquarium slumber party.

Firstly, an all-staff party takes place annually, always as a thank you for all the work of staff members and volunteers throughout the year. This time, it was a very elegant affair—as compared to a picnic theme one year, for example–that included a sit-down dinner and musical entertainment that was incredibly good.

Since all party-goers were clad in “cocktail attire,” it was sometimes difficult recognizing people whom we are accustomed to seeing wearing our navy blue Aquarium uniform shirts and stone-colored pants/skirts/shorts. I heard so many comments of “Oh, I didn’t recognize you!” that I was laughing a good portion of the evening. And trust me, I had great difficulty knowing who some people were, and wished that we’d been required to wear our name tags!

The evening started with a cocktail hour—one drink ticket provided to each person in attendance—and a lovely meal of either surf-and-turf or vegetarian fare.

After dinner, we had a musical presentation by a quintet of singers that included one of our own administrators, Nicole, who oversees our Guest Services Department. The singing was fabulous, and most of us were surprised to learn that we had such an incredible singer right in our midst! What a great stage presence Nicole and her friends had!

A band played later in the evening, after a raffle that featured 10 prizes for 10 years, with each of us receiving one chance to win something. Prizes included a $100 gift card from a local store, an i-pod, weekend getaways, and oak wine stoppers hand-carved by none other than multi-talented Perry, our director of husbandry.

For the most part, presentations were kept to a minimum so that we could enjoy ourselves without having to sit through long speeches. Instead, we found at each table a sheet of paper that contained comments from all our top administrators; it was great to see all the nice things they said about us.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Aquarium’s management team really appreciates the work of both paid staff and volunteers, and that is part of the reason why we have so many people who have been there since the beginning, back in 1998. As a matter of fact, on my day alone we have eight or nine (I can never keep count!) charter volunteers, who are those who started working at the Aquarium when it first opened. You can spot these folks by the mother-of-pearl look to their name badges.

And now for party number two:

How would you party like a sea star?

Our friends at the Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau just launched an exciting YouTube-based contest. The grand prize is a slumber party at the Aquarium of the Pacific for up to 50 people, along with a video crew to capture the experience, $1,000 travel allowance, and up to 50 admission tickets to the Queen Mary. (Be sure to count your parents and siblings among those 49 friends.)

To enter, you have to create a video (up to one minute long) showing how you would party like a sea star. Let your imagination float around on that one. You then upload that video to YouTube according to the contest page instructions at http://www.youtube.com/partylikeaseastar. They’ve already put up the first video, which features five of the Aquarium’s finned, feathered and furry friends having fun celebrating the 10 year anniversary.

Winning entries will be based on the number of YouTube votes they receive (so be sure to invite your friends to watch). Full details (along with some great tunes you’re free to use in your video) are available at http://wwwpartylikeaseastar.com/video.

You can learn more about the contest and Aquarium sleepovers in our very own video.

The contest runs until August 31, 2008. Winners will be notified by September 29, 2008. Contest is open to legal U.S. residents 18 years of age or older (parents/legal guardians can enter on behalf of their children). No purchase necessary. Grand prize valued over $5,000. Complete Official Rules at http://www.visitlongbeach.com/videocontestrules

Hope to see you partying like a sea star!

Party, party, party at the Aquarium of the Pacific
Nicole and her friends treated us to a wonderful musical show.  | © K Nirschl

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