Submitted by Westport Winery
Tricia O’Malley, a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, has donated a $1,000 bench to the nonprofit International Mermaid Museum. The museum, dedicated to teaching ocean ecology from seashore to sea floor immersed in mermaid mythology uniting world oceanic cultures, opened on March 29, 2021.
O’Malley, famous for writing the Siren Island series about the beautiful women of the Laughing Mermaid Bed & Breakfast on a fictional island in the Caribbean, is the author of the Mystic Cove, Althea Rose, and Isle of Destiny series, as well as several independent titles.
The acclaimed author learned about the museum after receiving a note from museum board member retired Army Colonel Deb Simpson. A long-time supporter of Westport Winery where the museum is located, Simpson is a member of the winery’s book club. After the group read the first book in the Althea Rose series, Simpson, an avid scuba diver, wrote to the author to commend her on the veracity of her diving scenes and the value of the empowerment of her protagonist. Almost as a sidenote she mentioned the museum.
O’Malley’s publicist wrote to museum founder Kim Roberts, who said, “It brought tears to my eyes to receive the note about Tricia’s interest in the museum. It was an incredibly thoughtful gesture by her to donate a brick for Deb who has served our country throughout her career. Her donation of a bench really reaches out to her readers and the mer-community. It is a measure of her dedication to both.”
The bench is inscribed with the authors name, the series title, and the quote “Embrace Your Inner Mermaid.” Those who want to enjoy the bench will find it adjacent to the museum’s front door and twin entry mermaid sculptures by architect Jamie Walsh. Simpson’s brick is part of the plaza surrounding the 12-foot mermaid sculpture known as Gray Sea, created by metal sculptor Yoseph Adams.
Funds raised by the museum are designated to providing ocean ecology curriculum for grade and middle school children, plus scholarship for graduating students seeking careers in the marine industry. Those wishing to join O’Malley in supporting the museum’s fundraising efforts may do so by donating a brick or bench at the Bricks R Us website.
The museum is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is on the grounds of Westport Winery Garden Resort, located halfway between Westport and Aberdeen on the Washington Coast. For more information visit the International Mermaid Museum website.