Over 300 guests attended the Reef Rescue 2008 Gala on November 15 to raise awareness about the coral reef crisis and threats to California marine life. Reef Check’s 6th annual fundraising event at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California honored Greg MacGillivray of MacGillivray Freeman Films with the 2008 Spirit of the Reef Award for documenting the beauty and fragility of the reefs and oceans in IMAX splendor in films such as Coral Reef Adventure and The Living Sea. Besides having over 40 large format films to his credit, Greg is also known to surfers for creating the surfing classic, “Five Summer Stories.”
Reef Rescue 2008 was attended by celebrities including actresses Kelly Hu and Nia Peeples, musician Mitch Allan, and Olympian Carl Lewis. Some highlights of the evening included the silent auction bidding wars among the tropical tanks during the cocktail hour and the Halau Hula O’ Nalikokauikawekiulani group wowing guests with their beautiful hula performance. A charming rendition of the “Year of the Reef” song by a children’s choir provided the transition to dinner. Fourteen year old Annie Schwab from Chicago made a special trip to Reef Rescue to share her story with event attendees. Earlier this year, Annie raised over $6000 for Reef Check.
Guests also enjoyed a scuba exhibition at the California tank demonstrating Reef Check surveying. A moving acceptance speech was given by Greg MacGillivray who shared his mission of using film to make a positive impact on the world.
Many thanks to all our sponsors, donors, and guests for their invaluable participation! We look forward to seeing you next year.
Click here to see images from the event!