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Museum hosts annual fund raising bash to support Educators of Excellence Fund

Love In The Tropics will feature live music with Saludos Compay, dancing, silent auction, and 50/50 raffle (winners get 50% of the winnings, Educators of Excellence gets other 50%)

Calendar, Education, Features, Editors
Contact: Emelia Cowans; 919.733.7450, ext. 305

RALEIGH—Love In the Tropics, an annual spicy soirée with a tropical theme, will be held on Saturday, February 7 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. This year's bash marks the 13th year for the party that supports the Friends of the Museum's Educators of Excellence Fund, which in turn helps provide educational adventures for outstanding teachers across the state.

Each year in February, the Museum is transformed into a musical and romantic tropical paradise for adults. Partygoers can dance to the jammin' music of Saludos Compay and learn the Latin salsa from professional dance instructors of the Mad About Dance studio. New this year, Paso Dance Studios' Cuban Salsa dance team will give a special performance. Visitors can also indulge in delightful dishes from the Acro Cafe and enjoy festive libations at the cash bar.

In addition, partygoers can participate in the 50/50 Raffle, where winners receive half the winnings and the other half goes to the Educators of Excellence Fund. They can also bid on several one-of-a-kind items at the annual silent auction. Items include a Santee Sport 116 kayak provided by Great Outdoor Provision Company, jewelry, tickets to the ballet and symphony and getaways from the mountains to the sea. Just in time for Valentine's Day, other hot auction items include a one-night stay at the Umstead Hotel, an interior design consultation with Cameron House Interiors, autographed sports items and tickets to sporting events.

For many people, Love in the Tropics is on their personal calendars year after year or they start calling for tickets in the fall. They love to come dance, socialize, and bid on auction items for their sweetheart. Liz Baird, Director of School Programs says it's an ideal way to give back to such a worthwhile program while having an exciting evening at the same time."Partygoers enjoy meeting the teachers who've participated in the Educators of Excellence Institutes and supporting a cause that benefits teachers and students across the state," says Baird. "They also look forward to beating the winter "blahs" by pulling out their favorite tropical attire and joining us for the evening in one of the few adults-only events at the Museum."

The Museum's Educators of Excellence program includes teacher institutes in Belize, Ecuador, and Yellowstone National Park. Through the Museum, many outstanding educators get to experience the natural world first-hand. Since it was established in 1987, the Educators of Excellence program has inspired more than 300 teachers from North Carolina, helping them gain new knowledge about the natural world, and discover ways to use outdoor experiences in their teaching. The Educators of Excellence Fund allows the Museum to offer the Institutes at a reasonable cost.

Tickets to Love in the Tropics are $20 for the general public, and $15 for Friends of the Museum. Festive or tropical attire is suggested; must be 21 or older to attend. All proceeds support the Educators of Excellence program. Reservations suggested; for tickets visit tickets.naturalsciences.org or call Elizabeth Iaquinta at 919.733.7450, ext. 352.