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SEIZE THE BAY

They were making waves and raising cash as the Santa Monica Baykeeper celebrated its annual ball at the home of David and Linda Foster. The splashy bash drew some of Malibu’s biggest names for an unforgettable evening under the stars. The Fosters invited about 450 of their closest pals including Barbra Streisand, James Brolin, Quincy Jones and Kenny G. A lively mariachi band played in the background on this Cinco de Mayo as guests sipped margaritas and devoured bowls of guacamole, bite-sized fish tacos, spicy empanadas.

Aqua enthusiast and clean water activist Ed Begley Jr. is one of the organization’s most loyal supporters. “We love the bay, that’s why we come year after year,” he explained. “In some ways our water situation has gotten better, but the creek’s still a big problem and Surfrider Beach is a big problem. We keep getting Fs on our report card.”

Gil Segel was the man of the hour and was honored for his eight years of hard work and dedication on behalf of the Baykeeper. “We have been able to stop polluters, we have made great strides through our education programs and progress through kelp reforestation.” Segel explained that the Baykeeper has helped underwater vegetation and sea life return to places like Palos Verdes and a similar program is slated to get underway in Malibu.

Segel received a standing ovation after a moving tribute that hailed him as the “force of nature” behind the Baykeeper. “We must all become activists and we must do it before it’s too late,” he said. “It’s a debt we owe to our children and our grandchildren.”

In addition to Segel, the City of Santa Monica was lauded for its extensive conservation programs, which include everything from EV charging stations to a solar-powered Ferris wheel.

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Following the speeches, David Foster kicked into high gear, delivering an outstanding evening of entertainment. After tickling the ivories himself, the music man presented a showcase of new talent before teaming up with best pal Kenny G. Rumors circulated throughout the evening that Cher might take the stage. The crowd felt a momentary charge when they heard the strains of “Turn Back Time,” except that the “Cher” that took the stage, was, well–a drag queen. But it was all a tease. Soon the real Cher burst from the wings, belting out her mega-hit “Believe” to the sheer delight of all.

It was a fitting finale for this organization that has acc-omplished so much and has every reason to “believe” that the battle for clean water is a fight that can be won.

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