SANTA MONICA, Calif. – More than 1,200 guests helped environmental group Heal the Bay celebrate its biggest fundraising dinner to date Thursday night at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. Themed “Making Waves,” this year’s event celebrated environmental stewards whose thoughts, words and actions show that every individual is capable of affecting positive change.
Many Southland celebrities and civic leaders were on hand to pay tribute to special honorees H. David Nahai, CEO and general manager of Los Angeles’ Department of Water and Power; Don Corsini, general manager of local broadcast stations KCBS and KCAL; Tom Unterman, founder and managing partner of venture capital firm Rustic Canyon Partners.
All three leaders have made waves in their respective fields, encouraging the adoption of more ocean friendly practices in their business and community activities.
“We are proud to recognize these longtime friends of Heal the Bay for their years of public service,” said Heal the Bay president Mark Gold. “They lead by example, encouraging all of us to remain steadfast and make Earth friendly choices in our daily lives.”
In a bid to make the “Bring Back the Beach” event as sustainable as possible, Heal the Bay selected vendors committed to green business practices. Patina Restaurant Group, known for supporting local farms, created a menu consisting of all organic and sustainable food items. The team ensured that 100% of the evening’s waste was recycled. Styrofoam was not allowed on the event site. Kunde Estate Winery, noted for its strict commitment to sustainable winegrowing practices, provided wines to accompany dinner.
In addition to musical performances by The Plain White T’s and Leon Mobley & Da Lion, guests enjoyed a brisk silent and live auction. A fully accessorized 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid led the spirited bidding, netting $33,000 for the organization.
Among the notables mingling at the dinner: Heal the Bay board members Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Amy Smart; fellow actors Ingo Rademacher and J.D. Roth; Los Angeles Kings captain Rob Blake; political leaders Fran Pavley and Bobby Shriver; and visual artist Chris Jordan.
Heal the Bay netted more than $650,000 to promote the organization’s ongoing work. Among many initiatives, the group has successfully led the regional fight to reduce the proliferation of marine debris, especially plastic bags, and to impose stricter controls on cities’ discharge of harmful urban runoff.
The organization helped draft AB 2058, which passed off passed off the California Assembly floor this week. If signed into law, this bill would require large grocery chains and pharmacies statewide to charge a 25 cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags if a 70% reduction in bag usage is not achieved by the end of 2010.
About Heal the Bay Heal the Bay, celebrating its 23rd year, is dedicated to making Santa Monica Bay and Southern California coastal waters safe and healthy again for people and marine life. It is one of the largest non-profit environmental organizations in Los Angeles County, with more than 12,000 members. The organization focuses on education, outreach, research and advocacy through programs like Coastal Cleanup Day each September and the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. Beach Report Card weekly and annual updates are available at www.healthebay.org
Contact: Matthew King, Heal the Bay, (310) 451-1500