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Philanthropy Highlights Fall 2023

From the 25th Anniversary celebration at the Blue Whale Gala to significant gift from local Girl Scouts, our supporters are making a positive impact on Aquarium programs and initiatives.

Pinkish red octopus in profile

Day Octopus Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific/Robin Riggs

September 12, 2023

Fall Highlights

Dark blue Great Hall showing whale and people at tables

Blue Whale Gala 2023 Credit: Scott Smeltzer

25th Anniversary Blue Whale Gala

The Aquarium celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Blue Whale Gala on Saturday, July 22, 2023. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception in Shark Lagoon and explored the newly reimagined Southern California Gallery. Dinner was served in the Great Hall of the Pacific under the blue whale. The evening featured a silent and live auction, with the opportunity to support the Aquarium’s conservation programs, including the mountain yellow legged frogs, white abalone, and Sea Otter Surrogacy. The event concluded with guests enjoying desserts and after-dinner drinks while touring the Aquarium’s galleries.

The Blue Whale Gala raised a record-breaking $650,000 to support its education, conservation, and animal care initiatives. The Aquarium gives special thanks to the Blue Whale Gala’s platinum sponsors: Esther S. M. Chui Chao, Kathleen M. Eckert, Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg, Seaward Road Properties, Temple Family Charitable Foundation, and U.S. Bank. Thank you to the gold sponsor: Edison International. “We thank all of the sponsors, members, and supporters for making the Blue Whale Gala such a wonderful success,” says Ryan Ashton, the Aquarium’s vice president of development.

Kids and adult hold up check

Girl Scouts from the greater Los Angeles region proudly present their philanthropic donation from their 2023 cookie payment. Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific

Girls Scouts Inspire Philanthropy

The Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles identified the Aquarium of the Pacific as their official philanthropic partner for the 2023 cookie program. Before selling their cookies, each scout could choose to participate by donating to the Aquarium in lieu of receiving prizes for their sales. In total, 2,595 girls participated to raise $6,253.75 to support the Aquarium’s Ocean Science Education program. To celebrate, fourteen of these participating scouts were randomly selected to visit the Aquarium with their families for a check presentation ceremony and to learn more about the programs they worked so hard to support.

“Thank you so much to the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles for promoting a culture of philanthropy, environmental stewardship, and a love of our oceans to your scouts!” — Ryan Ashton, vice president of development

Charter Donor Spotlight: Edison International

In July Edison awarded a $40,000 grant to the Aquarium’s education programs that expose high school students to STEM-related career paths. By providing hands-on experiences and skills-based trainings, our education programs foster a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) identity in elementary-aged students and beyond through exploration and connection to science and conservation. In addition, Edison was a Gold Sponsor of this year’s 25th Anniversary Blue Whale Gala.

The Aquarium’s relationship with Edison International began before the Aquarium opened to the public over twenty-five years ago. From the life-sized blue whale models hung in the Aquarium’s Great Hall, named Edi and Son, to volunteering and the Whales: A Journey with Giants film that immersed guests into the underwater world of whales, Edison has provided support for many important projects.

25th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign

Thank you to all those who have supported us in honor of the Aquarium’s 25th anniversary! In recognition of this special milestone, the Trustees of the Pacific have generously provided over $25,000 in matching funds. This means that when you support conservation and education at your Aquarium, your impact could be doubled. Visit to donate and make a difference today.

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