Benefit: Crystal Cove Alliance ‘Wish You Were Here’ Gala

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Harry and Kathy Helling. Photo credit: J. Christopher Launi Photography
Harry and Kathy Helling. Photo credit: J. Christopher Launi Photography

With more than just a hint of nostalgia in the air, Crystal Cove Alliance’s 11th annual gala “Wish You Were Here!” on September 28 transported attendees back to a simpler time.

More than 400 guests gathered on the bluff top overlooking Crystal Cove to reminisce amid a vintage theme while celebrating the cove’s many fascinating attributes and the organization dedicated to its sustainability. 

The event took in nearly $300,000 to support CCA’s mission that focuses on restoration, education and conservation.

 “The 2013 gala was an incredible success, providing guests the opportunity to embrace what we work so hard to protect,” said Laura Davick, CCA founder and Director of External Affairs.  “We’re extremely grateful to those who have generously contributed to the preservation and protection of Crystal Cove, and while we’ve come so far in our efforts, there is still so much to be done.”

Attendees enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as they mingled and bid on silent auction items. The dining was a lively celebration that featured a four-course gourmet meal prepared by the Executive Chef of The Resort at Pelican Hill, in conjunction with Montage Laguna Beach and The Beachcomber Café. Following dinner, guests danced the night away to music by Wayne Foster Entertainment.

“CCA now will be able to extend its education and conservation programs to the south end of the park at Moro Canyon. We look forward

(clockwise) Laura Davick (Founder of Crystal Cove Alliance), Bill Baker, Doug Cavanaugh. Photo credit: J. Christopher Launi Photography
(clockwise) Laura Davick (Founder of Crystal Cove Alliance), Bill Baker, Doug Cavanaugh. Photo credit: J. Christopher Launi Photography

to seeing students and park visitors enjoying Moro Canyon in a new and impactful way,” said Michael Berns, who, along with his wife, Tricia, were honored this year for generously donating $1 million toward the Berns Environmental Study Loop.

Gala proceeds, which traditionally account for almost half of CCA’s expenditures, were generated through sponsorships, underwriting, ticket sales, general donations, silent and live auctions and a fund-a-need program. The fund-a-need program focused on raising funds for new programs and equipment at the Berns Environmental Study Loop.

Dinner Committee: Kerry Herbert, Doug Cavanaugh, Madeline Swinden, Pam Schmider, Kathy Winton. Photo credit: J. Christopher Launi Photography
Dinner Committee: Kerry Herbert, Doug Cavanaugh, Madeline Swinden, Pam Schmider, Kathy Winton. Photo credit: J. Christopher Launi Photography

Crystal Cove Alliance (CCA), the official nonprofit partner of Crystal Cove State Park, is dedicated to preserving the cultural, natural and historic resources of Crystal Cove. Founded in 1999 by Laura Davick to stop a planned luxury resort from overtaking the area, CCA rescued the historic site and initiated one of the most successful public-private partnership models in the history of the California State Park system.

Today, CCA has expanded its focus to include all 3.2 miles of pristine coastline, more than 3,700 acres of backcountry habitat and 1,100 acres offshore in the Underwater Park. CCA has turned Crystal Cove into a laboratory for developing innovative educational programs and experiences that promote science and environmental literacy to more than 1.5 million visitors and students each year.  CCA’s conservation work insures access by a range of recreational enthusiasts while maintaining protection of critical habitat and protecting endangered and threatened species. 

For more information, visit crystalcovealliance.org. .

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