AVALON — More than 400 guests enjoyed an evening of dining, dancing and supporting the Catalina Island Conservancy at its 20th annual Conservancy Ball on April 11 in the historic Avalon Casino Ballroom. Over its history, the fun-filled event has raised nearly $5 million to support the Conservancy’s conservation, education and recreation programs.
“We thank our many supporters who joined us for the 20th annual Conservancy Ball,” said Ann M. Muscat, the Conservancy’s president and CEO. “Their contributions help ensure the Conservancy can continue to protect this beautiful Island and enhance its education and recreation programs. We also thank the Corsair Yacht Club and all the volunteers for helping to make the evening such a great success.”
Corsair YC, which hosted the first Conservancy Ball and the 10th Conservancy Ball, was the co-host for the 20th annual Conservancy Ball, “Leapin’ Lizards! An Emerald Celebration.”
Among the many honored guests were U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach and his wife, Deborah Malumed; State Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell of Long Beach, and his wife, Jennifer O’Donnell; Avalon Mayor Anni Marshall and her husband, Billy Delbert; Avalon Mayor Pro Tem Oley Olsen and his wife, Kate Olsen, and Avalon City Council member Cinde MacGugan-Cassidy and her husband, Mike Cassidy.
A live auction produced prize-winning bids for several items, including a one-of-a-kind, hand-etched Balthazar of Rusack Vineyards wine, a romantic Danube river cruise for two and an opportunity to be a guest bartender at the Bluewater Grill. Among the more than 100 silent auction items on which guests bid were tickets to L.A. Lakers games, vintage Catalina Island memorabilia, jewelry, artwork and vacation stays in Pebble Beach, Mammoth, Scotland and other destinations.
Guests also bid on unique Catalina Island adventures including a Jeep Eco Tour with the Conservancy’s president and CEO, a day in the field with Conservancy Director of Conservation and Wildlife Management Julie King as she conducts the annual Catalina Island fox trapping, a week at a Catalina summer camp and a natural history tour with Conservancy Chief Conservation and Education Officer John M. Mack. Society Beat, a popular group with a Big Band sound, provided the music for dancing and entertained the guests throughout the evening.