The end of an ambitious fundraising campaign inched a little closer this week for the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, which has raised nearly $20 million in a $28 million capital campaign for its future new home.

Museum executive director Phil Wallis: "Our museum can link our past to our future." — Mark Lovewell

And the future was present at annual Evening of Discovery fundraiser on Saturday at the site of the old marine hospital overlooking the Lagoon Pond in Vineyard Haven.

“This cultural hub of the Island, our museum, can . . . . link our past to our future, our culture to place and nature, connect us all together in community,” said museum executive director Phil Wallis, speaking to the more than 400 people who attended the sold-out dinner.

The theme of the evening was 2117. Guests were encouraged to think to the future of the Island and the museum as they enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and dinner. In keeping with the theme, some dressed in what they thought might be in fashion in 100 years.

“I’m thinking in 100 years we have a little global warming going on,” said board member Deirdre Frank, who wore a gauzy, off-white dress and wrap and necklace of gray pearls suspended in netting.

Seven-year-old Declan Diriwachter and museum education director Ann DuCharme took the stage to educate guests about the heath hen, a now-extinct bird that once roamed the Island.

Declan is a student at the Vineyard Montessori school. The school partnered with the museum to learn about biodiversity over the course of a special 15-week-long unit. The culmination of the unit was an exhibit at the museum.

Declan’s father, David Diriwachter, praised the educational arm of the museum for its emphasis on helping children understand the environment in which they live.

“With understanding comes sense of place. And with sense of place comes pride of place. And with pride of place, they become the stewards of the future,” he said.

Silent auction brought in $93,000. — Mark Lovewell

Board president Stever Aubrey said funds raised Saturday evening would go toward educational facilities, including a classroom, lecture space and library.

The benchmark was to raise the $225,000 needed to match a capital grant the museum received from the Massachusetts Cultural Council this spring.

About $300,000 was raised in total, organizers said, with $208,00 coming from ticket sales and donations, and $93,000 raised during the silent auction. All 435 tickets to the event were sold.

Popular items at auction included a chance to view the New Year’s Eve fireworks from atop the Edgartown Lighthouse and a sunset sail on the Charlotte followed by dinner at Beach Road.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on May 27 at the marine hospital site. The anticipated date of completion for the new building is fall 2018.

On Saturday, notions of stewardship and sustainability featured prominently throughout the evening.

Among other things this year for the first time, the gala was a zero-waste event. Leftover food was composted, all recyclable materials were sorted, and guests were given reusable bags to take home.

Mr. Wallis said $4 million had been raised in the past four weeks alone, largely the result of cultivating donors over the fall and winter. “When people arrive on the Vineyard, their hearts open, their memories connect and they believe,” he said.

He called the event a great success. “I just felt that there was a lot of love here, there was a lot of care about our children, about who we all are together.”