The Ocean Institute will hold its third annual Founders Day event on Sunday, Aug. 20, to celebrate the establishment of its museum and marine education center by Stan Cummings. The event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., is free to attend.
“The Ocean Institute has been around for about 50 years, and this event allows us to stay connected with our community and open our doors to any and all who want to come and kind of see what we’re about,” said Kaitlyn Davidson, the Ocean Institute’s marketing coordinator.
The Ocean Institute was founded in 1977 with a vision by Cummings to bring marine education to his community through a variety of exhibits and events. He also started the institute’s core value of “Experience is the teacher.”
“Stan’s is a legacy worthy of acknowledgement and keeping his memory alive,” said Ocean Institute Director of Education Riley Russell in a press release. “We want the community to join us in the celebration.”
To honor this educational legacy, the Ocean Institute will offer ocean-focused activities for kids of all ages. There will be special events such as a 2:45 p.m. showing of the Ocean Institute husbandry team feeding schooling fish and a 1 p.m. opportunity to encounter a native snake.
The Institute’s signature touch tanks will last longer throughout the day, available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For a later portion of the event, a bar area will be available with beer, wine and light snacks for purchase from 3-7 p.m. There will also be live music in the courtyard and continuing activities in the evening.
The celebration will also offer sign-up opportunities for those who are interested in participating in future Ocean Institute events such as the Maritime Festival and whale watching tours.
Davidson said there will also most likely be a table set up for information on fundraising opportunities for the nonprofit such as its popular “Adopt a Class” program.
According to Davidson, the event usually gets a sizable turnout from the community, with usually 300 to 600 people attending.
The Ocean Institute has made changes to the event such as live music and longer event hours that staff expects will bring new excitement to the annual celebration.
“It’s gonna be a little different this year with some new and fun things and new activities that we haven’t done in the past,” said Davidson. “We are really excited about opening everything up this year again.”