Last Sunday evening Oceana, the world’s largest ocean conservation group, welcomed special guests Morgan Freeman and Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra at the 5th annual SeaChange Summer Party. This year's sold out event was held at a spectacular private coastal villa in Laguna Beach. Approximately 400 guests attended the event to raise over $1 million for Oceana in a single evening.
Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman walked the “blue carpet,” mingled with guests and delivered a moving address on the main stage to cap the program.
“The ocean is my second home. It’s my backyard – because I’m a blue water sailor,” Morgan Freeman told the captivated crowd. “I have the utmost faith after seeing and feeling the spirit of the people at this event tonight and having worked with the dedicated people at Oceana – that this can happen, that we can save the oceans. I applaud you for your work.”
The event, emceed by Oceana Senior Advisor Alexandra Cousteau, featured appearances by Ted Danson, Aimee Teegarden, Dennis Haysbert and Sarah Shahi. Other celebrities in attendance included: Rachael Harris, Bella Thorne, Beverly D’Angelo, Ed Begley Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz, Renee Olstead, Steve Howey and Graham Phillips.
Alexandra Cousteau began the program by sharing personal stories of her family’s ocean legacy, particularly memories of her grandfather, filmmaker Jacques Cousteau. “My grandfather certainly knew what he was doing. He always said, ‘people protect what they love, and they love what they know.’ That’s why the SeaChange community is so important and such a powerful vehicle for Oceana and ocean conservation. This community lives with the ocean everyday. You surf it. You dive in it. You swim it in. You walk by it and gaze at it. And you have learned to love the ocean. By joining us here today you are helping us to protect it.”
SeaChange guests were treated to a sit-down dinner, presentations from several of Oceana’s directors and supporters, as well as a silent and live auction. Party-goers capped the evening with time spent dancing under the stars at the Post Party Lounge.
The evening was co-chaired by Valarie Van Cleave and Eve Kornyei Ruffatto. It honored ocean champions Tricia & Michael Berns and South Coast Plaza for their generous support.
The highlight of the auction was the lively bidding for a 7-day Caribbean voyage on the HEMISPHERE, the world’s largest recreational catamaran. The donation was facilitated by Burgess, the World’s Superyacht specialists, and raised $160,000 for Oceana’s work. Other items included a 2012 Fisker Karma sedan, introduced on stage by Henrik Fisker, as well as fine jewelry from Harry Winston and Mikimoto.
Oceana’s Executive Vice President Jim Simon also took to the stage delivering remarks about Oceana’s recent victories and plans for the future of ocean conservation.
“We need to protect the oceans to feed a world in which the population is growing by a billion people every twelve years,” said Simon. “With sensible management, the oceans can provide a daily meal for an additional 750 million people.”
The SeaChange Summer Party was made possible by the generous support from various distinguished local and international businesses and philanthropists. Partners and underwriters include the Harriet E. Pfleger Foundation, David C. Copley, Tricia & Michael Berns, Cindy & Steve Fry, Eve Kornyei Ruffatto & Michael J. Ruffatto, Harriet & Sandy Sandhu, South Coast Plaza, Patricia Hansen, Wells Fargo, Wendy & Rick Aversano, Marta & Raj Bhathal, Lisa & Ed Vogel, Center for Living Peace, Crevier Family Foundation, Ermenegildo Zegna, Fisker of Orange County, Latham & Watkins, Mara & Keith Murray, Musk Foundation, Mutual of America, One World One Ocean, Jim Salomon and Doug Pasquale, Sutton & Christian Stracke, Travel Alberta, Valaree Wahler & LadyLUX, Jean & Tim Weiss, Neiman Marcus, Coast Magazine, Leslie & Dino Cancellieri, Commerce Printing, elit by Stolichnaya, and Voss Water.
For a full list of underwriters and partners, host committee members, and more information about SeaChange visit www.SeaChangeSummerParty.org
The online auction will continue until August 7, 2012. For a full list of auction items please visit the SeaChange Party page at charitybuzz.
Link to Event photos. For additional photos and video or more information please contact Jessica Wiseman or Michael Gardner
Jessica Wiseman (202.360.7119 | [email protected])
Michael Gardner (202.390.3727 | [email protected] )
Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 500,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has offices in North, South and Central America and Europe. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.org.