It’s been two years since 5-year-old Maddie James captured the hearts of the nation with her love of the ocean and the animals living in it. For those of you who have been long time Breezy readers, you’ll remember how Maddie’s life tragically ended when an inoperable tumor was found. As soon as she heard the devastating news, her mother, Kajsa, knew that she wanted Maddie’s legacy to live on with Dana Point’s the Ocean Institute. Kajsa was determined to have their new building, the Seaside Learning Center, be named after her little girl; she just needed one million dollars to make that dream a reality. The dream became the community’s dream, and then spread. . . to town after town, into various states, and then nation was caught up in the love of Maddie James. In three short months, one million dollars was raised, and the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center became a reality.
On May 18, 2013, the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center will be open to the public for the very first time. The grand opening will be held in conjunction with the Third Annual Mile for Maddie walk–for those of you who live in the area, you MUST join us. It’s a fabulous, fun-filled day for everyone of all ages. More details are in the press release below.
Ocean Institute and The Maddie James Foundation Celebrate the Grand Opening of the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center at the Third Annual A Mile for Maddie Fundraising Walk
DANA POINT, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Ocean Institute and The Maddie James Foundation are proud to announce the third annual A Mile for Maddie fundraising walk on Saturday, May 18, 2013. This year’s walk, presented by Pediatric Dentistry of San Clemente, will be combined with the Grand Opening of the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center. All net proceeds from the walk will benefit the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center at Dana Point’s Ocean Institute.
“Developing this first-class oceanography and marine science educational facility has been a goal of the Ocean Institute for more than 10 years”
More than 1,600 walkers have participated in A Mile for Maddie over the past two years and have raised $160,000. These funds have been instrumental in helping to achieve The Maddie James Foundation’s initial goal of raising $1 million to secure the naming rights to the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center at the Ocean Institute.
“Celebrating the grand opening of the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center on the same morning as A Mile for Maddie could not be more fitting,” said Kajsa James, Maddie’s mother, co-founder of The Maddie James Foundation and Vice President of Development for the Ocean Institute. “We will be able to share this momentous day with those who have supported us, and show them firsthand what they helped build.”
At 10 a.m. on the same morning of the walk, all registered participants will take part in the grand opening celebration of the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center. The Center is built on the water and features new educational facilities that will introduce thousands of K-12 students and visitors from Orange County and beyond to current and emerging issues in oceanography, environmental science and maritime history.
State, city and county officials are expected to attend the grand opening. The ceremony will include a ribbon cutting, unveiling of the entrance gate to the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center and a cannon salute from the tall ship, Spirit of Dana Point.
“Developing this first-class oceanography and marine science educational facility has been a goal of the Ocean Institute for more than 10 years,” said Dan Stetson, president and CEO of the Ocean Institute. “The achievement of this goal brings an added sense of excitement for what the future holds for the Ocean Institute and all those who will visit here.”
Returning as Celebrity Chair for the event is marine life artist and conservationist Wyland, who will host an exclusive dinner on August 25, 2013 for the top fundraisers from the walk. For every $500 raised, individuals will receive one ticket to this exclusive dinner. The dinner will be held at the Ocean Institute and catered by award-winning, Orange County-based Zov’s Bistro and Peligroso Tequila. Walkers who continue to raise more than $500 in pledges will earn multiple tickets. The individual who raises the most funds will receive special recognition on August 25th, and will become the owner of a one-of-a-kind artwork that Wyland will paint that evening. Additional prizes for top fundraising teams can be found on A Mile for Maddie website.
A Mile for Maddie, a 1.2-mile family-friendly fundraising walk around the coastal bluffs of Dana Point and the Grand Opening Celebration of the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center.
Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. / Grand Opening Ceremony at 10:00 a.m.
Starting line is at Strand Vista Park (at the end of Selva Road) in Dana Point
$30 for adults; $20 for children. Online registration closes on May 15.
About The Maddie James Foundation: The Maddie James Foundation was created in 2011 in honor of Maddie James, a five-year old girl from Dana Point, California, who died from a brain tumor on March 13, just two short months after diagnosis. The mission of The Maddie James Foundation is to support the ongoing operation of The Maddie James Seaside Learning Center at Dana Point’s Ocean Institute – one of Maddie’s favorite places. The Foundation also partners with other ocean-minded charities and groups committed to bringing the ocean to children around the country, regardless of circumstance, to show them its many wonders and the importance of its preservation through dynamic educational programs. The Maddie James Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity organization. For more information and to make a donation to The Maddie James Foundation, please visit http://maddiejamesfoundation.org/. Follow The Maddie James Foundation on Twitter and on Facebook.
About The Ocean Institute: Founded in 1977, the Ocean Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to ocean preservation through education, setting the standard for educational excellence and serving as a leading resource for universities, museums, teachers and all others seeking to increase their knowledge of the ocean. The Ocean Institute is open to the general public on weekends, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Cost: $6.50 adults, $4.50 children (ages 4-12), Ocean Institute members free. Unique maritime and ocean-themed items are available in the Chambers Gallery every day, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Institute address: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point. Website: www.ocean-institute.org. Phone number: (949) 496-2274.