Cleaning Up with the Lakers, Whole Foods

Thursday was a busy day for Heal the Bay. We cleaned up – literally and figuratively – with two of our biggest supporters: The Los Angeles Lakers and Whole Foods. We divided our forces, with teams of staff and volunteers simultaneously scattering around town to do some great community outreach and raise funds to help keep our oceans clean and safe.

Fresh off a stirring win the night before against the Dallas Mavericks, All-Star center Andrew Bynum and rookie guard Andrew Goudelock led an afternoon beach cleanup at Dockweiler Beach, accompanied by five Laker Girls. Despite the drizzly marine layer, spirits were high as nearly 50 volunteers from the Lakers organization and Delta Airlines collected 188 pounds of trash. With their easy smiles and attitude, the two Andrews couldn’t have been more gracious, posing for photos and holding crying babies. Bynum let us know that Dockweiler is his local beach, while proudly showing off photos of his dogs Max and Diamond. Goudelock noted that the cleanup marked the first time he had been to the sand since arriving to L.A. from his hometown of Atlanta. Because of the NBA players’ height, our intrepid staff had to pull a “MacGyver” and use some tape and nails to jerry-rig an extension to our trash-grabbers for them.

The two Andrews got into the competitive spirit by leading their respective teams in a trash gathering contest. Bynum, with a chuckle, played the veteran card and grabbed the debris that Goudelock had collected, taking his whole bucket and claiming it as his own. In the end, Goudelock’s team still prevailed.

Whole Foods Market Community Day ShopperMeanwhile, the rest of Heal the Bay’s staff descended on Whole Foods’ three Santa Monica locations, manning tables throughout the day to engage shoppers about protecting our local beaches and watersheds. As part of their vibrant community engagement programs, the stores generously donated 5% of all net proceeds from the day to Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. Receiving financial support is fantastic, but developing human capital is important too. Eveline Bravo, our cleanup manager, recruited a new member to our volunteer-training program at the 5th and Wilshire location. Raymond, who also organizes volunteer activities at a Santa Monica yoga studio, is now part of our crew.

We’d love to get your company involved in our mission. It’s great for organizational morale and you can take satisfaction in knowing you are having a direct impact on improving the health of our oceans and beaches. Learn more.