The sun shone and smiles were everywhere at last Saturday's Keys Strong Dolphin party at Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key. The dolphins were as excited to see people as the more than 1,000 people were to see them! DRC staff brought guests down on the docks to greet the dolphins with back rubs and high-fives and several people were fortunate when their ticket numbers were called and they were able to go into the water for a free Dolphin Encounter dolphin swim.
The community came together to make this a fun event for all. Centennial Bank donated, grilled and served hot dogs and hamburgers; the Wounded Warrior Project brought dessert; Publix Supermarkets provided cold beverages; DJs Chance Ruder and Sarah Meng as well as the Stone Crabs entertained the crowd with music.
Dolphin Research Center organized the party specifically to provide some stress relief for friends and neighbors throughout the Florida Keys in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Florida Keys residents as well as visiting responders and recovery teams were invited to visit with free admission. The following day, on Oct. 1, DRC officially reopened to welcome guests from all over.
Mary Stella, Dolphin Research Center