The Tribute Dinner, held Wednesday evening prior to SEWE weekend, brings together devoted event supporters and leaders from throughout the community and region to honor recipients of the Lifetime Stewardship Award. Hosted at the Charleston Gaillard Center, attendees are introduced to an array of animals, meet wildlife artists, and dine with friends as they enjoy entertainment and an inspirational award presentation unique to SEWE. Previous Lifetime Stewardship Award winners include Len Hutchison and George Bullwinkel, pillars of the community and individuals who embody the spirit of Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. Each has given countless time and support to SEWE, and to the community and region to which it has a direct economic, cultural, and educational impact.
The 2017 Tribute Dinner will celebrate The Honorable Joseph P. Riley, Jr., who served as Mayor of Charleston for over forty years. Riley is one of the most influential figures in the history of Charleston. He led the city through a revitalization resulting in it becoming one of the most sought after travel destinations in the world and one of the most desirable places to live. Riley, a winner of the National Medal of Arts, has had a direct and lasting impact on the civic design and public spaces that form much of the backdrop of Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.