Sam Waterston Honored at Oceana's SeaChange Summer Party
Lily Tomlin helped honor her 'Frank and Gracie' co-star at the organization's fundraiser at a private estate in Laguna Beach.
Hundreds of guests gathered at a private hillside Laguna Beach estate to celebrate the 10th annual Oceana SeaChange Summer Party and to raise funds for the world’s largest international organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation.
The evening began with a cocktail hour on the home's expansive lawn, which showcased a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. Guests sipped raspberry and mescal cocktails while participating in a silent auction that featured sculptures, nautically themed jewelry, designer scarves and other luxury items.
Ted Danson, a longtime Oceana board member, served as the night’s MC. He first became involved with the organization when he noticed that his children had oil on their feet after he took them to the beach. He told The Hollywood Reporter why it was so important to take action for any environmental cause.
“Find something you care about, because you have a choice," he said. "You can either be part of the solution, which ends up making you happy and joyful, or you get beat up by headlines and inaction. So do something. You will feel 100 percent better.”
Sam Waterston, the benefit's guest of honor, was introduced by his Frank and Gracie co-star Lily Tomlin, who spoke about why it is essential to protect the world’s oceans.
“It’s fundamental to our lives here on the planet. All the creatures that live in the ocean,” she told THR. “Oceana is really doing strong, diligent, hardworking effort and accomplishments to make the oceans safe, clean and productive and to stop overfishing and even stop the ensnaring of whales in fishing gear, which goes on tremendously. Seventy-one whales were ensnared in fishing lines last year off the West Coast!”
In his speech, Waterston told the audience about Scarlett, a beloved humpback whale who became sick and died after she was entangled in a fishing line while migrating down the coast.
“It's too late for Scarlett, but you and I, by having Oceana’s back, are going to rescue the oceans!" Waterston said. "Thanks to us and our allies, our work and our advocacy, the fact that we get it, electric vehicles, solar power and ocean wind farms are here now. Thanks to you and your support, cruel, stupid and destructive fishing practices will become a thing of the past. The future is on its way. All we have to do is protect the present while the future gets here."
Following a dinner of salmon and sweet potato fries, a spirited live auction raised thousands of dollars, with bidders fighting over luxury vacations to such exotic locales as Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands.
The evening ended with dancing and a performance by the Vegas lounge act Mark and the Martinis, and every guest was given a Michael Aram ocean-scented candle as a parting gift.
This year's SeaChange raised $1.2 million for the organization.