The Alliance for Coney Island on Wednesday, April 18 used its sixth annual gala to celebrate the forthcoming opening of a new shark exhibit at the New York Aquarium, among other recent accomplishments in the neighborhood.
The gala, which took place at Gargiulo’s, 2911 West 15th Street, featured two guest speakers – former Borough President Marty Markowitz and former Councilmember Domenic Recchia – a pair of pols who played important roles in helping to bring the newest addition to Coney Island to life.
In addition, the gala honored three individuals who have served Coney Island and help shape the neighborhood into the powerhouse it is today. This year’s honorees were Jon Forrest Dohlin, director of the New York Aquarium; Paul Georgoulakos, co-owner of the classic Coney Boardwalk joint Paul’s Daughter and Pastor Constance Hulla of the Coney Island Gospel Assembly.
More than 350 guests attended the gala, which serves as the Alliance’s main fundraiser, bringing in money annually to support free public programming, workforce development and quality-of-life initiatives for the bustling southern Brooklyn nabe year-round.
The new exhibit, Ocean Wonders: Sharks!, will exist within a new 57, 500-square-foot space that, as reported by this paper when news of it first broke in 2015, will hold over 500,000 gallons of water in fully immersive and interactive exhibits and will feature sharks, rays, sea turtles and thousands of schooling fish.
The exhibit’s main function will be to educate visitors about the remarkable ocean ecosystems that surround New York and the marine species that are found in local waters.
Ocean Wonders: Sharks! will open on June 30.
The New York Aquarium is located at 602 Surf Avenue.