Kirsten James, our science and policy co-director, shares a special night on the red carpet with our board member..
Wow, what a party! Last night I had the opportunity to attend the unite4:humanity event on the Sony Pictures lot honoring Heal the Bay’s very own board member, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, for her service to Heal the Bay and environmental causes. The dinner and awards program, presented by unite4:good and Variety, also recognized the philanthropic work of Bill Clinton, director Martin Scorsese, singer Alicia Keys and youth star Selena Gomez.
I jumped at the chance to be there to support Julia, as I have been blown away by her dedication to our cause during my nine years with Heal the Bay. Walking to Los Angeles City Hall with Julia last year right before the successful vote on the single-use plastic bag ban remains one of the highlights of my career. Julia met with the councilmembers to make sure they understood the importance of the issue. She also provided poignant testimony before the Council, with a twist of humor of course.
For someone steeped in the world of nonprofits, the entertainment industry remains a bit of a mystery. Hollywood is something you read and hear about constantly, but it’s not something most people get to experience first-hand. So I was pretty star-struck to sit at a table with Julia, Jane Fonda, Bobby Kennedy and Cheryl Hines. Who would have thought that I’d ever be having a conversation with Jane Fonda during Oscar week about blue whales in Santa Monica Bay?!
No matter how big a celebrity, everyone we met at the 1,000-person event seemed genuinely interested in hearing more about what we do at Heal the Bay. It’s great to be working on a cause that everyone can so easily grasp and relate to – clean oceans and beaches. Meeting President Clinton was the icing on the cake. (I already emailed the photos to my mom!)
But the true highlight of the night was hearing Julia’s speech about Heal the Bay and why our work is important to her. Her passion came through in every word. It made me so proud to work for this organization.
A big THANK YOU to Julia, Variety and unite4:good for celebrating the work that we and many others do to create positive change throughout the world. Hopefully, the room full of creative storytellers and media executives was moved by our efforts and can share the stories with their audiences.