"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society supports several annual and one-time events at the Refuge for educational purposes and to raise funds for wildlife conservation, land acquisition, internships, and educational programs.
"Ding" Darling's major educational event takes place for one week each mid-October. "Ding" Darling Days honors the birthday of our namesake, Jay N. "Ding" Darling and National Wildlife Refuge Week. It kicks off with an all-free Sunday Family Fun Day.
Both an educational and fundraising event, the annual "Ding" Darling & Doc Ford's Tarpon Tournament takes place in early May. It educates anglers and the public about ethical catch-and-release and other fishing practices to help conserve the local population of this highly sought-after game fish. Winners receive 100% of tournament registration fees. Fundraising is through sponsorships and a silent auction at the Captain's Dinner the night before the tournament.
Our biggest fundraiser of the year, Go Wild for "Ding," happens in February. Each year we select a Refuge bird as a theme for a casual evening of dining, live music, and silent and live auctions.
Each winter season, DDWS also hosts its popular Friday Lecture Series and Wednesday Biweekly Film Series.
Check out our Calendar of Events for daily happenings at the Refuge.