2014 Conservancy Ball
The historic Avalon Casino came alive with dinner, dancing and support for the wildlife programs of the Catalina Island Conservancy on Saturday, April 5, at the 19thAnnual Catalina Island Conservancy Ball. More than 400 people celebrated the work of the Conservancy to protect and restore the Island's wildlands.
This year's theme, Catalina's Coves: All Ashore, Let's Explore!, evoked the spirit of days spent in the Island's sparkling coves and hiking its rugged trails with spectacular views. The theme was both nostalgic and contemporary for the Marineros, the ball's co-sponsor and the Conservancy's largest support group. The Marineros are comprised of members of Southern California's boating community and yacht clubs.
A special inspirational video, All Ashore, Let's Explore!, produced by MO'z Art, was screened for the guests. The video highlighted the work of the Conservancy and how people of all ages enjoy the Island by hiking, taking Jeep® Eco Tours and exploring the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden--as well as the beaches and coves.
The Raise Your Paddle auction, with 100 percent of proceeds going to Conservancy wildlife programs, was kicked off with a generous grant of $25,000 by Helen Rich, great-granddaughter of Ada and William Wrigley Jr. That was followed by a live auction of exciting vacation getaways, island experiences and a one-of-a-kind Balthazar bottle, 12 liters of Rusack Santa Catalina Island Vineyards' 2011 Pinot Noir.
The silent auction included more than 140 treasures for guests to explore and bid on before and during the dinner. A few of the more popular items included unique Catalina memorabilia, such as a rare 1930s Tru-View viewer with films of Catalina Island. Selections of pressed native plant specimens were a popular item.
Other bid items included rare opportunities to learn about Catalina's natural history in the Island's wildlands with the experts. Among the items were a full-day Jeep® Eco Tour with Conservancy President and CEO Ann M. Muscat, Ph.D.; a day in the field fox-trapping with Conservancy Director of Wildlife Management Julie King, and a natural history tour with Conservancy Chief Conservation and Education Officer John M. Mack.
Doors opened for Avalon-residents after the live auction for dancing to the sounds of Society Beat, a 16-piece band from San Diego.