Mystic, Conn. (December 12, 2017): On Friday night, December 8, a total of 7,259 guests visited Mystic Aquarium as part of Olde Mistick Village’s Festival of Lights. It is the largest recorded attendance in the events’ history at Mystic Aquarium. Even more impressive is the generosity of those guests. With the help of Mystic Transportation, Mystic Aquarium delivered a whopping 9,168 pounds of non-perishable food to the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center in New London.
“Thanks to the generosity of our guests on Friday night, the donation was equal to the weight of four and a half beluga whales,” quipped Ainslie Seeber, Event and Partnership Manager at Mystic Aquarium. “That is by far a new record for us. We are so grateful and very excited.”
An additional $517 was collected in monetary donations in support of the local food center.
“United Way is grateful for generous community partners like the Mystic Aquarium,” said Virginia L. Mason, President & CEO of United Way of Southeastern Connecticut. “We extend our thanks to them for, once again, going above and beyond with the annual Festival of Lights event and corresponding food drive. Together we’re working towards ending hunger and food insecurity for all in New London County.”
Each year Mystic Aquarium proudly joins the Olde Mistick Village for Festival of Lights, a popular local holiday tradition featuring an enchanting light display of thousands of luminaria, shopping, live seasonal entertainment and more. Mystic Aquarium extends complimentary admission during the evening with the donation of a non-perishable food item.
On Friday evening, guests enjoyed pictures with Santa, face painting, storytelling by The Winter Lady & Sprites along with diving Santa and elves. Live entertainment was provided by Saxophone Santa, Ledyard High School Carolers, Mystic River Chorale, The Cutler Singers & Brass Ensemble, Stonington High School Chamber Choir, Mystic Middle School Jazz Band, Jo Ann Galat Brown Music Teaching School and Kik’s Dance Center.
Outside the Sea Scouts worked tirelessly collecting and sorting the over 7,000 pounds of food in preparation for delivery by Mystic Transportation, who also donates use of the truck.
“It was truly a community event,” said Ainslie Seeber, “from Olde Mistick Village’s leadership to the participation of the Mystic Hilton; all the local school groups, to the Sea Scouts and Mystic Transportation and, of course, those who traveled near and far to join us for this very special night. Every one teaming up to help our community; Festival of Lights encompasses the true meaning of Christmas.”
Since 1988, the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center has played a key role in providing one of the building blocks to a good quality of life by feeding food insecure individuals and families all across the community.
ABOUT MYSTIC AQUARIUM
Mystic Aquarium, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is counted among the nation’s leading aquariums with more than 300 species and an extensive collection of marine mammals, including New England’s only belugas. Mystic Aquarium has been a pioneer in offering guests a variety of up close encounters with a wide range of marine animals. The mission of Mystic Aquarium is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research. Mystic Aquarium receives major support from The Coca-Cola Company, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Resorts World Sentosa and United Technologies Corporation. Learn more at MysticAquarium.org.
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