Walking into the aquarium courtyard was like stepping into a Cuban cafe March 24 at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s Party on the Pass: “Hot Night in Old Havana.”
Guests donned their most colorful tropical attire at the casual soiree, which benefited Mote’s animal hospitals. Since the hospitals opened in the 1990s, they have treated 71 dolphins and small whales and more than 615 sea turtles, all of whom typically arrive in critical condition. The goal of the Mote staff is to rescue, rehabilitate and then release these animals back into the wild.
Event-goers enjoyed food stations serving bites from 12 of the Sarasota area’s most popular restaurants — all members of Sarasota-Manatee Originals — and listened to Cuban music performed by musician Renesito Avich.
The extensive silent auction (36 items strong) featured everything from a private tour of the Ca' d'Zan to VIP tickets to the Sarasota Film Festival Opening Night Film and Party.