A female harbor seal pup that was admitted to the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Wildlife Response Program on May 4 is seen here in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy Alaska SeaLife Center)                                A female harbor seal pup that was admitted to the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Wildlife Response Program on May 4 is seen here in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy Alaska SeaLife Center)

A female harbor seal pup that was admitted to the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Wildlife Response Program on May 4 is seen here in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy Alaska SeaLife Center) A female harbor seal pup that was admitted to the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Wildlife Response Program on May 4 is seen here in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy Alaska SeaLife Center)

SeaLife Center launches new fundraising campaign

Aquarium received $250,000 matching donation

The Alaska SeaLife Center reached its fundraising goal of $2 million over a month ahead of schedule, but the donations keep coming. This time in the form of a $250,000 matching donation from ConocoPhillips Alaska.

On Monday, ConocoPhillips Alaska announced that they would match the next $250,000 raised by the SeaLife Center through both donations and memberships.

“The outpouring of support has been amazing, and we are no longer looking at a situation where we could close permanently this fall,” SeaLife Center President and CEO Tara Riemer said in a Monday release. “Thanks to ConocoPhillips Alaska, we are excited to transition into a new campaign phase where supporters have the opportunity to ensure we are able to do more than just barely survive. Mission programs like education, research and wildlife response need financial support to continue operations through the offseason.”

Riemer said in an interview with the Clarion last week that reaching their goal of $2 million means that the center can remain open through the winter, but the fundraising drive is continuing to ensure the SeaLife Center’s long-term survival.

Joe Marushack, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska, said in the release that the partnership is part of the company’s ongoing support of the SeaLife Center.

“We have supported the Alaska SeaLife Center for more than 20 years,” Marushack said. “We greatly value the close relationship we have with the Center, and with this match challenge and donation, we look forward to helping the Center continue with their mission of serving Alaska’s marine research, education and wildlife response programs.”

The matching campaign will last through the month of September or until the $250,000 is reached, according to the press release.

To learn more about the Alaska SeaLife Center, visit alaskasealife.org.

Reach reporter Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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