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-- Suzie Harrison Masked theme will provide fun and...

October 18, 2002

-- Suzie Harrison

Masked theme will provide fun and funds for year

This year's Friends of the Sea Lion Marine Mammal Center

fund-raiser is the Marine Mammal Masquerade.

"We try to have a fund-raiser every year, and try to be

different," said Michele Hunter, director of Operations/Animal Care.

"The fall season is exciting especially near Halloween -- we were

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bouncing ideas around for this year's theme and Marine Mammal

Masquerade came out."

The Masquerade benefit gala will be held from 6 to 10:30 p.m. on

Oct. 26 at Richard MacDonald Gallery. There will be hors d'oeuvres,

cocktails, a dinner buffet, music and a silent auction.

Other fun happenings that evening will include Tarot card readers,

fortune tellers and body painters with the attire being funky and fun

where masks aren't required but are encouraged.

Friends of the Sea Lion rescues and rehabilitates sick and injured

California sea lions, Harbor seals and Northern elephant seals. They

care for these animals until they are ready to be released in their

own habitat.

The center also is a Southern California emergency care center for

stranded dolphins and small whales.

Last year was particularly difficult because, due to a toxin in

the Pacific, the center rescued 300 animals or double its usual 150

rescues.

The center has a 75% success rate in rescues," Hunter said.

Additionally, Friends of the Sea Lion serves 10,000 youth each

year with its summer camp, field trips, after-school programs and

outreach programs.

Through the yearly fund-raiser the Center receives 70% of its

operating budget.

Richard MacDonald Gallery is at 326 Glenneyre St. Tickets are $45

each . For more information about the masquerade party or to donate

to Friends of the Sea Lion, call 494-3050.

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