Heal the Bay Gala Sets Another Record

Hey Party People, we did it!

Thanks to our generous supporters, Heal the Bay set an all-time attendance record for annual “Bring Back the Beach” gala Thursday night. More than 1,200 ocean lovers joined us on the sand at the Jonathan Club in Santa Monica for an evening of relaxed fun and environmental fundraising.

We met all our goals – the evening’s proceeds will underwrite almost a quarter of our annual operating budget. But as important, the night really is a great gathering of the tribe – surfers, policy wonks, soccer moms, environmental engineers, rock stars, progressive business owners, you name it.  It’s very inspiring for staff and volunteers to see such a cross-section of greater Los Angeles come out to support clean beaches and healthy watersheds. It’s not just the dollars, it’s the faith invested in our work.

The setting was sublime (another sultry night with a killer sunset), the libations savory (thirst-quenching Palomas and Heal the Bay IPA from Golden Road Brewing), the fashion eclectic (we particularly liked Olympian Greg Louganis’ kilt) and the live music bubbly (The Mowgli’s infectious pop closed the night).

There’s something for everyone at the event — whether it’s vamping the blue carpet, power networking, laid-back table hopping, bidding on a priceless trip to Belize or just hanging out with friends and family on the sand. If you want to check out images from the event, please visit our Flickr page.

This year’s honorees included Mike Sullivan, Heal the Bay board member and president of LAcarGuy, the world’s largest hybrid dealer;  LA Sanitation, the city’s public works unit leading the charge to create a more sustainable Los Angeles; and multi-Platinum rock band Incubus, whose Make Yourself Foundation has underwritten numerous Heal the Bay programs aimed at protecting our local shorelines. (It was nice to see Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd being generous with their time, posing for photos and chatting with supporters and fans backstage.)

We’re taking a breather today, but we’ll soon start planning for next year’s bash, which is set for May 14, 2015. We’ll be be back at the Jonathan Club, and it’s our 30th anniversary. So expect something big!