Like many Aquarium supporters, Patrice Boeke and Tom Alburn are passionate about scuba diving and the ocean — so much so they were married in Fiji on a diving excursion!
They met through their mutual friend, Eugenie Clark, PhD, a renowned ichthyologist known as "the Shark Lady" for her research on shark behavior and her study of fishes. For 14 years, Tom spent nearly all his vacation time — over 500 days — at sea as Genie's research assistant.
One day after diving in Monterey Bay, they visited the Aquarium. Here they saw hundreds of people connecting with ocean animals by viewing our living exhibits.
"Seeing the beauty and complexity of marine environments helps to increase empathy for ocean life and reinforces the need for protection," Tom says.
"The Monterey Bay Aquarium does an excellent job of educating people about the need for conservation and helping them make choices that are good for the ocean," says Tom.
Patrice says it was because of the Aquarium's mission to inspire conservation of the ocean, and her and Tom's love of the underwater world, that they became Ocean Legacy Circle donors by designating the Aquarium as a beneficiary of their IRA to create a personal endowment in their names.
We will always be grateful to Patrice and Tom for their dedication to making a bright future possible for the ocean and for all who depend upon it.