Crystal Cove Conservancy Holds Virtual Fundraiser Oct. 9

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A previous year’s soiree at Crystal Cove State Park. — Photo courtesy of Crystal Cove ©

One of the highlights of the Gala season every fall is the Crystal Cove Gala, normally held on a blufftop overlooking Crystal Cove in Newport Coast.

The event begins with a reception and silent auction, and then guests stroll over to a large decorated tent with special lighting and décor, plus a spectacular dinner courtesy of the creative culinary team at Pelican Hill Resort.

This year, like most galas, Crystal Cove Conservancy has had to rethink its gala and reimagine it as a livestream virtual event dubbed “A Night In With Crystal Cove” on Friday, Oct. 9.

Crystal Cove Conservancy’s 20th Platinum Anniversary soiree, held Oct. 5 2019. — Photo by J. Christoper Launi ©

All proceeds from the event will benefit The Conservancy’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs.

Title sponsor The Resort at Pelican Hill will still be involved to provide dinner and wine to-go for sponsors and underwriters.

“Underserved students in our community shouldn’t lose the opportunity to learn because of the pandemic,” said Kate Wheeler, Conservancy President and CEO, in a press release announcing the event  “Over the last several months, we’ve adapted all of our programs for Distance Learning platforms so we can continue to support our students and their teachers until we can bring them all back to the Park.”

“A Night In With Crystal Cove” livestream will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9 and will include a live auction as well as special guest Carl Safina, an ecologist and author. “In the same way our educational programs bond students to the Park and its delicate habitats, Carl’s writing, grounded in science, builds an emotional connection between his readers and the natural world – inspiring readers to real action,” said Wheeler in a statement.

The event will begin with a toast in memory of philanthropist and community leader, Madeline Swinden, who was a staple of the event for more than ten years, followed by a look at The Conservancy’s work to support students and teachers during the COVID crisis.

A live auction follows with such auction packages as villa stays at The Resort at Pelican Hill, a 7-night Mammoth getaway, and weekend stays at the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages.

Some of the Crystal Cove cottages to be restored on North Beach. — Photo courtesy Crystal Cove Alliance ©

Many companies, foundations and individuals have already stepped up to sponsor the event including Title Sponsor, The Resort at Pelican Hill, the Gardner Grout Foundation, Eva and Doug Le Bon, the Massen Greene Foundation, Crystal Cove Beach Cottages, Lucy Donahue, the Archarios Foundation in honor of Madeline Swinden, Paula and Jeff Cole, Contrarian Group, Inc., Stephanie Quesada and Vince Jackson, Teddie Ray, Roger’s Gardens, Fred and Wendy Salter, Shelley B. Thunen, Glenn Bozarth, Laura Davick, Founder of Crystal Cove Conservancy, the MacGillivray Family Foundation, Janet and Walkie Ray, Al Bennett and Rudi Berkelhamer, and Scott and Angelica Palazzo.

For more information on the event and how to become a sponsor or purchase an opportunity drawing ticket for a three-night stay in Cottage #14 at Crystal Cove, please visit

To register for the live stream event, please visit

About Crystal Cove Conservancy

Crystal Cove Conservancy is the nonprofit public benefit partner to Crystal Cove State Park, employing a social enterprise model to fund important preservation, education and conservation initiatives that will cultivate our planet’s next generation of environmental stewards ensuring that Crystal Cove, and places like it, live on for generations.

The Conservancy, formerly known as Crystal Cove Alliance, was founded in 1999 by Laura Davick to save Crystal Cove Historic District from being developed into a luxury resort property.

The Conservancy works in partnership with California State Parks to provide stewardship support for Crystal Cove’s nearly 2,800 acres of public lands including: The Crystal Cove Historic District and beach cottages (a National Register of Historic Places site); 2,400 acres of pristine wilderness habitat and the unspoiled Moro Canyon watershed (a National Natural Landmark site); over three miles of rocky beach coastline and intertidal habitat; 400 acres of coastal bluff habitat; and special underwater and offshore areas including the Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area MPA.

By being a stewardship partner for this Southern California jewel, the Conservancy has been uniquely positioned to develop a nationally recognized STEM education program that uses authentic field science and monitoring to immerse students and community members in the practice of conservation and open space management.

For more information, visit

Crystal Cove cottage restoration project. — Photo courtesy of Crystal Cove Conservancy ©




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