Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s (LMC) premiere fundraiser, the Eighth Annual Lights Out Gala, was held on January 30 at the center, overlooking one of the most densely nested and bio-diverse sea turtle beaches in the world. The event raised over $100,000 for the non-profit, which will fund its vital work in sea turtle education, research, rehabilitation, and ocean conservation. The event is held every year to celebrate the start of sea turtle nesting season, when residents along the ocean are asked to dim their bright lights to protect nesting sea turtles and hatchlings.
The 2015 gala, themed An Enchanted Evening Under the Sea, welcomed a sold-out crowd of over 300 of the center’s supporters. Guests enjoyed creative cocktails alongside the center’s adorable sea turtle patients in the Florida Power & Light Sea Turtle Recovery Yard, as well as informative talks with LMC biologists and staff members. Tours were also given of the on-site Gordon & Patricia Gray Veterinary Hospital by the center’s rehabilitation staff.
“Our Eighth Annual Lights Gala was LMC’s most successful gala to date,” said Jack Lighton, LMC President & CEO. “Loggerhead Marinelife Center does not charge our 240,000 guests admission – we are a free, cultural facility – so we rely on the monies raised at our events to provide free educational access to guests and lifesaving care for sea turtle patients,” he added.
After cocktails, guests moved into the gorgeous gala structure to enjoy the enchanted evening under the sea. Replica sea turtles and jellyfish graced the room, as well as beautiful centerpieces created by Interiors by G. Attendees enjoyed a delicious, plated dinner prepared by Sandy James Catering while LMC President & CEO, Jack Lighton, and LMC Associate Director of Development, Lynne Wells, spoke on 2014 achievements and 2015 goals. Following the speeches was an inspirational video and exciting paddle raise fundraiser hosted by celebrity auctioneer, Tim Luke. Guests were also able to enjoy Champagne & Shopping in Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s gift store. Additionally, featured Lights Out artist, Kelly Tracht, was in the store selling her lovely, marine-themed pieces. Afterwards, guests danced the night away to tunes mixed by one of South Florida’s most popular DJ’s, DJ Adam Lipson.
The presenting sponsor of the Lights Out Gala for the third consecutive year was PNC Bank. Additional sponsors included: Loggerhead Marina, Ross & Susan Johnson, Palm Beach Illustrated, Florida Weekly, Dr. Jack Lighton, PGA National Resort & Spa, Mr. & Mrs. Jim Perrella, Natasha & Dirk Ziff, Braman BMW Jupiter, Interiors by G, Fite Shavell & Associates, Florida Power & Light Company, Gunster, Gordon & Patricia Gray, Jupiter Medical Center, Ms. Elizabeth Neuhoff, Pratt & Whitney, Sciame Homes, LLC., Stewart Materials, Inc., Tequesta Insurance Advisors, The Hunting Family Foundation, The Gardens Mall, Tire Kingdom, Tito’s Vodka, Alacrity Entertainment Inc., Anchor Commercial Bank, Beres Design Group, Mr. Bob Chlebek, Ms. Damiann Hendel, Jones, Foster, Johnston & Stubbs, Betsy Munson – Coastal Sotheby’s International Realty, NuVista Living, Mr. & Mrs. Ed Lunsford, Ms. Linda Skrod Peters and Rippey Art.