TURNING THE TIDE
By Kim Devore/ Entertainment Writer
The Santa Monica BayKeeper was back doing what it does best-making waves and giving water polluters a lot of sleepless nights. The group celebrated a decade of good deeds at its annual Beach Ball.
In keeping with tradition, guests came clad in everything from Gortex to evening gowns, Hawaiian shirts to Hugo Boss, Prada to Puka shells.
The parking lot at Paradise Cove was transformed into a tented party place complete with beach sand, flickering tiki lights and a lively luau band.
Music man David Foster, fresh from the previous night’s M.S. fundraiser, was scurrying around carrying a copy of a New York Times article on singing sensation Bule.
“I can’t believe it,” he told me with the pride of a parent waiving a straight-A report card. “I saw him perform at a friend’s wedding. He was fantastic and I signed him on the spot.”
As Josh Groban and many others can testify, when Foster finds a find, the rest is history.
After a silent auction and a bit of bubbly, we made our way to the tent. Although not quite as elegant as the Adamson House events of years past, the plastic enclosure served its purpose. What the venue lacked in atmosphere, it made up for in spirit. The tables were done up in island prints, and miniature lifeguard stations were used as centerpieces surrounded by red antherium, yellow orchids and South African protea.
For all the fun and games, being the BayKeeper hasn’t exactly been a day at the beach. The organization observed its milestone by saluting some of its favorite fans and friends. The honorees included one of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s top guns. NRDC attorney David Beckman thanked the galvanized group for “fighting the good fight,” and received a standing ovation. Assemblymember Fran Pavley was hailed as a great voice in government and a loyal environmental friend. Also on the list was political commentator Arianna Huffington, who blasted bigwigs in the Motor City for caring “more about voice-activated door locks than miles per gallon.”
But the biggest round of applause was reserved for BayKeeper founder Terry Tamminen, who gave up a promising pool business to clean up an even bigger pond. In the true spirit of ’60s activism, he had words of warning for polluters.
“We will stop people who still look at Santa Monica Bay as their toilet. We may not get you today, we may not get you tomorrow, but we will get you.” In his parting words he quipped, “Tonight we celebrate, tomorrow it’s back to work.”