Long Marine Lab's annual 'Whale of an Auction' set for Friday, June 17

The Friends of Long Marine Lab will hold its 20th annual "Whale of an Auction," the group's popular annual fundraiser, on Friday, June 17. The event will take place in the Porter College Dining Hall on the UC Santa Cruz campus, starting at 6 p.m.

Over the past 20 years, the auction has grown from humble beginnings into a lavish affair featuring a catered buffet, fine wines, champagne, and lots of excitement. The event includes both live and silent auctions. Tickets for the evening are $75 at the door. For additional information, call (831) 459-3800.

Highlights of the items up for bid at this year's auction include exclusive vacation retreats in Paris, St. Barts, Kauai, La Quinta, Puerto Vallarta, Napa, San Francisco, and other exciting locales; a private history and geology tour of Point Lobos with UCSC geologist Gary Griggs and historian Sandy Lydon; field trips, research cruises, private presentations, and behind-the-scenes tours with renowned Long Marine Lab scientists; specialty wines and private wine-tasting tours; private art, baking, and cooking classes; a bumper-car party for 50 at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk; a lobster and clambake for 20 on the beach catered by the Crow's Nest Restaurant; artwork, jewelry, and exquisite blown glass; sports equipment and tickets to sporting events; and much, much more.

All education programs and daily operations of the lab's Seymour Marine Discovery Center depend on community support. Contributions to the Whale of an Auction help bring marine science alive for the community. Last year's event was a great success, with more than 400 bidders who helped raise more than $80,000 in crucial funds for the Seymour Center.

The Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab is dedicated to educating people about the role scientific research plays in the understanding and conservation of the world's oceans. Research conducted by UCSC scientists in Monterey Bay and around the world is featured in the center's exhibits, along with galleries of aquaria, seawater tables, an 87-foot blue whale skeleton, and much more. Located at the end of Delaware Ave. in Santa Cruz, the Seymour Center is open to the public every day except Mondays. Long Marine Lab is a research facility of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UCSC.