AVALON—Catalina Island Museum announced it will host its annual Museum Benefit event virtually, welcoming participants from around the world with the first opportunity to view the new Titanic: Real Artifacts, Real People, Real Stories exhibition. The virtual evening experience takes place on Oct. 17, from 6 – 7 p.m. The first-ever virtual affair will be streamed live on YouTube and is free to attend with advanced registration at betterunite.com/catalinamuseum.
“As we look ahead on how to emerge stronger from these challenging times, we look at how much we miss the privilege of sharing positive experiences with our members, visitors, and supporters,” Julie Perlin Lee, Catalina Island Museum Executive Director said in a released statement. “The virtual event will allow us to reconnect with one another while also addressing the very real needs to financially support the museum at this critical moment so we can continue to celebrate and build the history and legacy of our beloved Catalina Island.”
The virtual affair will feature special guests and celebrity appearances led by Captain of Ceremonies and Celebrity Auctioneer Matt Rogers who will guide guests through an evening full of exciting and unique live and silent auction items. The auction will feature a private once-in-a-lifetime tour of SpaceX headquarters and a limited-edition original etching by Pablo Picasso. Other items include vacation packages to California and Catalina destinations, a private chef created dinner by Diego Velasco of Memphis Café for 8, private sailing cruises, a never before offered tour of the inner workings of one of the Catalina Express catamarans with CEO Greg Bombard, signed sheet music from the Titanic movie, unique museum offerings and more.
Guests will also experience a virtual ribbon cutting and first look of the museum’s new exhibition Titanic: Real Artifacts, Real People, Real Stories, which tells stories of the individuals from the fateful crossing and offers viewers a glimpse into the lives of those who set sail on the “unsinkable” ship.
The museum hopes the virtual event will help raise critical funds to support its $250,000 loss in revenue during the Covid-19 pandemic.