The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum & Aquarium is pleased to announce its annual benefit gala will be held Saturday, March 16, 2024, and that the Sanibel Captiva Trust Company will again be Presenting Sponsor. Proceeds of the event will support the final stages of post-hurricane rebuilding and improvements and will be an investment in the future of the Museum.


“The Museum and The Trust Company have a strong bond, having partnered together for two decades,” said Al Hanser, Founder and Chairman of the Sanibel Captiva Trust Company. “It’s a special place, and we are honored to help the Museum recover and improve after Hurricane Ian so it may once again share critical knowledge of our ecosystem and a truly unique experience to island visitors.”


The fundraising gala event, titled A Night at the Museum, will be held throughout the Museum on Saturday, March 16, from 5 to 8 p.m. The evening will include cocktails in the Living Gallery of Aquariums and dinner in The Great Hall of Shells with its soaring 30-foot ceiling and artful original windows by Luc Century.


Attendees will enjoy an evening of camaraderie and community, live music during cocktails by Danny Morgan and Amy Sbarra, and a delicious dinner catered by Artichoke & Co. An exciting auction of original items and experiences and a paddle raise will comprise part of the dinner program.


“The Museum team is doing an extraordinary job of restoring the campus and exhibits,” said Jeff Muddell, Sanibel Captiva Trust Company’s Sanibel Office President. “We’re proud of our community for supporting this organization and the thousands of visitors they serve every year.”


The Museum will reopen in phases to visitors in early 2024. Major new additions and improvements to the permanent exhibit galleries will transform and enhance the educational and visitor experience.


“The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company is a generous, major supporter of the Museum and has been for more than 20 years,” said Sam Ankerson, National Shell Museum Executive Director. “The Museum is grateful for all the company’s work and philanthropy on behalf of non-profits and communities throughout Southwest Florida.”


Visit to learn more and purchase tickets for A Night at the Museum gala

The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company is an independent trust company with more than $3.5 billion in assets under management that provides family office and wealth management services, including investment management, trust administration and financial counsel to high-net-worth individuals, families, businesses, foundations and endowments. Founded in 2001 as a state-chartered independent trust company, the firm is focused on wealth management services that are absolute-return oriented and performance driven. Each portfolio is separately managed and customized specifically to the client’s yield and cash-flow requirements. The Naples Trust Company and The Tampa Bay Trust Company are divisions of The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company. Offices in Sanibel-Captiva, Naples, Marco Island, Tampa, Belleair Bluffs-Clearwater and Tarpon Springs.

About the Museum: The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum & Aquarium is a natural history museum, and the only museum in the United States devoted primarily to shells and mollusks. Its mission is to use exceptional collections, aquariums, programs, experiences, and science to be the nation’s leading museum in the conservation, preservation, interpretation, and celebration of shells, the mollusks that create them, and their ecosystems. Permanent exhibitions on view include the Great Hall of Shells which displays highlights of the Museum’s collection of some 550,000 shells, as well as the Living Gallery of Aquariums and over 60 species of marine life. In 2023 the Museum is under reconstruction following the impacts or Hurricane Ian. For more information, please visit or call (239) 395-2233.