Oceana’s SeaChange Summer Party
Anyone who’s anyone was nowhere other than Oceana’s seventh annual SeaChange Summer Party on Aug. 16, which was held at the sprawling private villa of Karen and Bruce Cahill in Laguna Beach. Held in benefit of Oceana, an international organization focused solely on ocean conservation, approximately 400 VIPs—including actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Ted Danson, Lauren Hern and Dennis Haysbert—attended the star-studded event, raising more than $1.4 million for the nonprofit. After a cocktail reception and silent auction, guests were led into the backyard lawn overlooking the Pacific Ocean for an elegant three-course dinner, live auction and presentation by several of Oceana’s supporters. During the live auction, extravagant packages were auctioned off—some items bidding into the hundreds of thousands—including exotic trips to the Galápagos Islands and Maui, as well as a private tour and dinner at Opus One Winery in Northern California. During the dinner, celebrities and Oceana’s committee took to the podium and expressed the urgency of keeping the ocean healthy for not only the marine life but also human life. Leonardo gave a compelling speech, saying, “Our oceans do much more than we realize. … We each need to do our parts as individuals to take action.” The evening concluded with a thrilling presentation of fire dancers for a truly memorable finale—at least until next year. (oceana.org) —A.T.
SIMA Environmental Fund’s Waterman’s Ball
The 25th Annual Waterman’s Ball, hosted by the SIMA Environmental Fund, took place at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel on Aug. 9 with full attendance of more than 600 people who came to support ocean preservation. The evening hosted a live auction of highly sought-after items, including a luncheon with actor Ted Danson, which raised nearly $400,000. All funds benefitted nonprofit environmental organizations—including the Surfrider Foundation, Orange County Coastkeeper, Heal the Bay and Ocean Institute—that aim to address water quality and ocean pollution issues. Additionally, the event celebrated four leaders for their dedication and influence on ocean conservation as well as the culture of surfing. The honorees included two-time surfing world champion Tom Carroll who was named Waterman of the Year; Golden Globe award winner Ted Danson who was recognized as Environmentalist of the Year; premier shortboard shaper Rusty Preisendorfer who was given the Lifetime Achievement Award; and the late Hobie Alter who was given a Special Recognition Award. (sima.com) —A.T.
Laguna Art Museum’s Palette to Palate Fundraiser
For the ninth year, the Laguna Art Museum hosted its Palette to Palate fundraiser, which raised funds for the museum’s education and exhibition programs. On June 13, local artists, chefs, musicians and guests gathered in the museum, which was transformed into a dining and gallery venue for the night. Notable faces from Laguna included chef Craig Strong of Studio at Montage Laguna Beach, who prepared a four-course meal for guests of the event. Additionally, guests sipped on wine that was provided by Jonata Winery from Santa Ynez, Calif., and the work of 10 artists, including Andrew Myers, Kathy Jones and Peter Deise, were showcased at the dining tables and museum’s gallery. The Palette to Palate 2014 committee worked closely with local galleries, including Peter Blake Gallery and Skidmore Contemporary Art, to bring multiple California talents to the fundraiser. The event raised approximately $205,000—the most successful Palette to Palate fundraiser to date. Of that, the museum is expected to net $137,000 to support its education and exhibition programs. (lagunaartmuseum.org) —K.M.