Turn the Tide Event Schedule

August 15, 2020
2:00pm – 6:00pm

Hosted at Ocean Connections (located within the Milwaukee County Zoo)
10001 W Bluemound Road, Milwaukee

VIP arrival

VIP ticket holders join us at the Milwaukee County Zoo for Turn the Tide. Enter through the main Zoo gate. Your parking is included. Our team will meet and direct you to Ocean Connections.


VIP interactive program with animal ambassadors

VIP attendees will receive the opportunity to mingle with our marine mammals. Come nose to nose with our flippered friends. Spend time with the trainers and animals as we treat you to an experience of a lifetime!


General Admission arrival

General Admission ticket holders join us at the Milwaukee County Zoo for Turn the Tide. Enter through the main Zoo gate. Your parking is included. Our team will meet and direct you to Ocean Connections.


Food, drink and socializing

VIP and general attendees will enjoy delicious gourmet hours d’oeuvres, an open bar, live entertainment and socializing with animal care specialists as well as the opportunity to peruse our silent auction items before settling in for the main event.


Turn the Tide afternoon program

Turn the Tide afternoon program will be hosted by Fox6 anchor Carl Deffenbaugh. Enjoy an afternoon of entertainment, animal surprised and conservation awareness. The event will conclude with our live auction.


Closing activities

Entertainment continues as our animals bid your farewell.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Shelley Ballmann

Shelley Ballmann is a conservation leader and expert in marine mammal behavior, training, and welfare. Shelley has dedicated herself to providing a sanctuary where both animals born within human care and rescued seals and sea lions are given a second chance in life.

A believer in education, Shelley is committed to the educational impact connecting people to nature has on influencing behavior for positive change in our world. Shelley will share with you the challenges facing these animals along with the inspiring impact our ambassadors bring to today’s world.

INVITED SPEAKER: Carl Deffenbaugh

Ocean Connections is honored to have Carl Deffenbaugh, anchor at Fox6 MC our Turn the Tide Program. Carl co-hosts Milwaukee’s No. 1 morning newscast, FOX6 WakeUp. He’s won a number of Midwest Emmy Awards for his feature reporting, and we know him best from his previous role at the station – as the Roving Reporter. He would pop all over southeast Wisconsin showing off the great organizations, businesses and events in our area. He got to fly with the US Air Force Thunderbirds, dunk with the Bucks’ Rim Rockers and – most importantly, of course – meet our amazing seals and sea lions up close and in person!



Ocean Connections is committed to providing exceptional care to all of our animal ambassadors. Our animal ambassadors all have unique stories and by connecting you to all of them, we can educate others about the troubles directly impacting these species and their habitats. This helps us to better serve their wild counterparts and conserve species for generations to come! Your contribution directly assists with:

  • Updated medical equipment necessary for health assessments and veterinary visits
  • Modernizing animal areas
  • High quality nutrition and dietary needs
  • Local and global conservation efforts
  • Species rescue, rehabilitation, and protection programs


Education is at the heart of what we do. Our educational programming combines quality, STEAM+ based curriculum and quality time with our animal ambassadors. With our interactive and outreach programs continuing to evolve, Ocean Connections is in desperate need of updated equipment to increase the creation of hands-on learning opportunities that are available to diverse audiences. Your patronage will help further our commitment to providing quality science programming to the community by supplying funding for:

  • Improved technology for distance learning opportunities
  • Sponsoring field trips and outreach opportunities for Title 1 Schools
  • Interactive learning displays
  • Hands-on materials to encourage inquiry-based exploration of marine species

Unable to join us? Please consider partnering as a Turn the Tide sponsor or making a donation to support our efforts! Each sponsorship level is accompanied by unique event benefits. To learn more or make a contribution visit us at www.oceanconnections.org/events