Crystal Cove Alliance Seaside Soiree Raises Record Breaking $418,000!
Breathtaking evening on Crystal Cove bluffs generates critical funds for education programs, environmental awareness
Saturday, October 1, 2016 was a starlit and picture-perfect evening as 420 guests celebrated together at the 14th annual Crystal Cove Alliance (CCA) “Soiree” presented by The Resort at Pelican Hill. The always sold-out fete on the bluff overlooking Crystal Cove raised a record-breaking $418,000 in support of the nonprofit’s mission to preserve the cultural, natural and historic resources of Crystal Cove State Park.
“We’re thrilled with the generous support from the community and the passion our advocates have for preserving the historic jewel that is Crystal Cove,” said newly appointed CCA President and CEO Alix Hobbs. “Our organization is gearing up for some very exciting initiatives and these require the help of our wonderfully dedicated supporters. This dedication will enable us to ensure that this precious resource thrives far into the future, for all the generations to come.”
The elegant affair kicked off with an al fresco cocktail reception including hors d’oeuvres by The Resort at Pelican Hill and a silent auction packed with highly sought-after items. One new element at this year’s Soiree was the scrumptious three-course farm-to-table dinner with fresh and locally sourced ingredients created by The Resort at Pelican Hill’s expert culinary team. The signature dish was a beef filet with butter poached marine lobster, potatoes, mushroom ragu, squash and haricot vert and confit of tomato. During dinner, guests participated in a lively auction filled with unique experiences and fabulous getaways. The evening closed with live entertainment by The California Honeydrops, led by dynamic vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Lech Wierzynski. The lively band immediately drew guests to the dance floor with its array of R&B, funk, Southern soul and Delta blues.
“As a longstanding CCA supporter and neighbor, I have witnessed firsthand the important work this organization has accomplished to ensure the preservation of this historic area,” said Giuseppe Lama, managing director of Pelican Hill. “The Resort at Pelican Hill is honored to return year after year as presenting sponsor of this popular fundraiser – it truly is a cause so close to our hearts.”
Guests were enthusiastic about the outstanding seven live auction packages, from unique experiences to luxury opportunities. Highlights included:
- Seven-night Paul Gauguin Tahiti cruise for two in a luxurious balcony suite.
- Three-course Paella dinner, with Spanish wines, for 20 guests at Crystal Cove’s Beaches Cottage, including all-day use of the beach in front of the historic cottage.
- Three-day, two-night cruise for six to Catalina Island aboard Laura Davick’s 58-foot yacht, the Vista, including a private jeep eco-tour from the Catalina Island Conservancy.
Also generating buzz among Soiree guests was the opportunity drawing for a three-night stay in the two-story, waterfront South Beach Suite (Crystal Cove Cottage #14). The most recent and largest cottage to be renovated, the prize was won by Sandra and Ray Wirta from Laguna Beach.
During the lively fund-a-need program, guests raised their paddles to collect $151,000 – triple the amount raised from last year – to support scholarships for K-12 students to take part in CCA’s education programs, which focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and environmental awareness by enabling students to work hands-on with the local ecosystem. The amount raised included a $50,000 match from Massen Greene Foundation. Additional funds were raised through sponsorships, underwriters, ticket sales, general donations, and silent and live auctions.
Hobbs added, “Nowhere else along the California coast is there a place where history and architecture meets open space with majestic ocean views and a bountiful underwater park. It’s a world-class laboratory for children to be introduced to a career of science, engineering, or mathematics, and every dollar raised directly supports our educational initiatives. This helps us go far in building confidence and inspiration for participating children.”
Event proceeds will support CCA’s pioneering environmental science education programs which are experiencing rapid growth. In 2017, the nonprofit also will ramp up fundraising efforts for Phase III of its restoration program which will enable CCA to renovate the remaining 17 cottages deteriorating at the north end of its beach. Once all 46 historic cottages have been restored, the CCA historic district will be financially sustainable – and no longer will require additional revenue for ongoing maintenance.
Gala sponsors included: The Resort at Pelican Hill, The Massen Green Foundation, HKA, Inc. Marketing Communications, Eva and Doug Le Bon, Louise G. Brigham, Laura Davick, Crystal Cove Beach Cottages, Firebrand Media LLC, The Hexberg Family Foundation, Teddie Ray, Fred and Wendy Salter, Tricia and Michael Berns, Buchanan Design, Capital Group, Christine Carr, Paula and Jeff Cole and Ann and Eric Smyth, The Collazo Family Foundation, Contrarian Group Inc., Diana and Gareth Evans, Fostering Executive Leadership, Inc., Fuscoe Engineering, Inc., Impac Mortgage Corp., McKenna European Auto Group, Melanie and Michael Harrah, Jackson Lewis, P.C., Bertie Lowenstein, Mara and Keith Murray, Sonia and Victor Nichols, Opus Community Foundation, Todd and Natasha Palmaer, Janet and James “Walkie” Ray, Michael Ray, Rogers Gardens, Joan Irvine Smith & Athalie R. Clarke Foundation, Susan Tate and University of California, Irvine.