The Catalina Island Conservancy and more than 450 guests celebrated the 25th Annual Conservancy Ball “Under the Stars” on Saturday, April 10, held virtually for the first time this year. Registered attendees joined from more than 20 states across the country, including Alaska and Hawaii. Conservancy supporters including members of Balboa Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club and Corsair Yacht Club also participated in remote watch parties following local guidelines at their facilities.
The interactive experience included Catalina Island trivia, face-to-face virtual lounge options, a digital photobooth and more. Guests celebrated Under the Stars, dressing for the occasion to recreate the Ball experience at home, with sponsors receiving special Ball at Home Gift Boxes or dinner from Bluewater Grill. Society Beat was back once again to provide background music during the pre-show and kicking off the dance party with classic big band sounds at the After Party Powered by Edison International.
Through the support of dedicated individual and corporate sponsors, along with one-of-a-kind auction items, including a hand-painted Balthazar of Rusack wine, a tour of SpaceX, guided Island experiences with Conservancy staff and well-loved Catalina signage, more than $480,000 was raised for the Conservancy’s programs. Clint Bell joined once again as the host and auctioneer for the evening.
Conservancy President and CEO Tony Budrovich welcomed guests via a recorded message from the Island and invited attendees to join him in celebrating the unique year. Messages of gratitude from staff played throughout the program. Guests also enjoyed a short video that highlighted the unique nature of the Conservancy’s work on Catalina at night … Under the Stars. A replay of the event is available to watch on the Conservancy Ball site.
“We are thankful for the continued support of Catalina Island Conservancy’s key conservation, education and recreation programs and this incredible annual event,” said Conservancy President and CEO Tony Budrovich. “This digital adventure provided a great way to connect with those who love Catalina and we look forward to being able to celebrate in person sometime soon.”
Over the past quarter of a century, the Conservancy Ball has helped to raise a net of more than $7.8 million. Like many other non-profit organizations, effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have greatly impacted Conservancy operations and supports, the extent of which is still ongoing.
The annual fund-a-need supporting the conservation department has raised more than half of the $60,000 goal. You can help us reach that goal through the end of the month, by supporting vital programs and projects such as acoustic monitoring of native and endemic birds and bats, ongoing monitoring of and administering protective vaccines to the endemic Catalina Island fox, documenting the status of extremely rare and cryptic indicator species such as the Santa Catalina Island shrew and Two-Striped Garter snake, and more! https://one.bidpal.net/2021ball/browse/featured(details:item/10)
This year also marked the launch of the Conservancy Challenge – a peer-to-peer fundraising challenge to support the Conservancy through a team effort. Donations of any amount are welcome. Participate in the challenge: https://p2p.onecause.com/2021ball/home
“Your generosity directly supports the Conservancy in fulfilling our mission to be responsible stewards of Catalina Island, keeping Catalina Island accessible for future generations,” added Budrovich.
We are grateful to our all of our individual sponsors and corporate partners, especially Presenting Partner Capital Group Private Client Services and Shaun and Katy Tucker, Virtual Sponsor Gathering Partner U.S. Bank, and After Party Partner Edison International. We also would like to thank Ball at Home Kit Partners Connolly-Pacific Co. and Jordahl Construction; and Community Partners Albus-Keefe Associates, Aon Risk Services, Inc., California Swimrun, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, Mutual of America Financial Group, OCDM Direct Mail Marketing, and Rodriguez, Horii, Choi & Cafferata LLP.