After two long years, we held our first family event in person! Earlier this year, we received a generous donation of 300 free tickets from the Aquarium Foundation for our foster, adoptive, and guardianship families. We sent out the invite to our families and sold out within minutes. On April 3rd, we got the chance to greet over 70 families and 180 kids as they made their way into the Aquarium. To ensure the safety of our families, staff, and volunteers, masks were provided and COVID safety protocol was encouraged.
This event wouldn’t be possible without our sponsor EDF-RG and their CEO and his wife, Chris and Ashley Pondoff. Their generosity made it possible for us to gift each kid with a Nike drawstring bag filled with Aquarium water bottles, stuffed animals, candy, fidget toys, and snacks. Chris and his adoptive son Charlie had a great time attending the event and loved giving back. Kids were overjoyed to receive goodie bags; many opened them up right away to see what was inside. “This is the cutest little toy I’ve ever gotten,” one kid shouted. “I’m going to snuggle with him every night!” Other kids showed off their sea animal shirts and toys from home to our volunteers. One little boy told our team that he was “going to show the sharks [his] shirt.”
Families were able to spend as much time inside as they wanted. “It’s something that was on our bucket list of things we wanted to do and you fulfilled that wish for us,” one mom wrote. Thanks to the generosity of our partners we were able to create a meaningful and fun outing for our families. “Seeing the excitement from caregivers and kids alike made the day so special”, said Madison Brown, our new Volunteer Manager. “It was a beautiful day and a great way to kick off the springtime with our families, and we could not have done it without our sponsors, volunteers, and team at the Coalition.”
A BIG thank you to our Junior Board volunteers who stuffed and handed out goodie bags:
These are a few photos from this wonderful family event at the St. Louis Aquarium. Thank you, Nicky Williams Photography for donating your time and talent! We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.