Most Successful Fundraiser Ever


The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum & Aquarium recently reopened its doors 17 months after Hurricane Ian. The organization’s 2024 benefit gala at the Museum raised over $560,000.

The A Night at the Museum gala was held at the facility starting with cocktails in the Living Gallery of Aquariums and concluding with dinner in The Great Hall of Shells illuminated by a wash of blue light projected across its soaring 30-foot ceiling. Live music was provided by Danny Morgan and Amy Sbarra.

The evening proved to be the most successful fundraiser in the Museum’s history, as the organization raised over $560,000 in sponsorships, live auction sales, and paddle raise donations combined. Funds raised will support the final stages of post-hurricane rebuilding and also major improvements including a redesign and expansion of the shell exhibits of the Great Hall of Shells that will transform the educational and visitor experience.

“We are deeply grateful to this community and all of the event’s sponsors for coming out and supporting the future of the Museum,’’ said Executive Director Sam Ankerson.


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