The first Reef Check in the world was carried out in Kauai in 1997 -- the rest is history. Since then, Reef Check Hawaii has been an entirely volunteer operation. In 2004, a start-up Board committee was formed and it was agreed to establish an independent Reef Check Hawaii organization. As a first step, on May 22, a party was held at the lovely home of RC member Catherine Landa honoring two celebrities -- songwriter and Academy Award nominee Carol Connors, and singer/actress Barbi Benton. Barbi and Carol had just completed a week of scuba diving and photography in Kona for the BodyGlove Kona Classic. The music of Makana was sufficiently compelling that significant funds were raised as seed money for the new RC Hawaii and several key members of Oahu's ocean loving community were enticed to help out. The young actor Ryan Carnes, fresh from filming Surf School in Costa Rica was also on hand -- enjoying his simultaneous appearance at the party and on Desperate Housewives.
Cheryl Holdridge checks out the auction table; Credit: Johanna Ahlberg.
From left to right: Cheryl Holdridge, honoree Carol Connors, Gregor Hodgson, Mara New and honoree Barbi Benton; Credit: Johanna Ahlberg.
Desperate Housewives star Ryan Carnes (middle) with Jim Clark, Jennifer Li, Sheila-Anne Hodges, and RC's Anais Smith.