Actor Harrison Ford will play a starring role at what is expected to be one of the largest fundraising events for an environmental cause in Orange County.
The July 18 Sea Change Summer Party in Laguna Beach aims to raise at least $500,000 to benefit Oceana, an international organization devoted to protecting the seas from global warming, pollution and over fishing.
“For everybody in this county who enjoys a view of the ocean, we’re seeing right under our nose the incredible loss of wealth and vitality,” said Julie Hill, co-organizer of the Sea Change Party and a board member of three publicly-traded companies. “The way we’re going, eventually, all the oceans are going to be dead.”
Ford, star most recently of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” will be honored for his role as an advocate for environmental issues, Hill said. She said his box office clout is also expected to help sell more tickets to the minimum $500-a-person event, which will be held at the Cahill Estate in Laguna Beach, with a sweeping view of the Pacific.
Attendance is limited to 400. To comply with the party’s green theme, guests will ride to the hilltop estate on a shuttle bus and the menu will feature “ocean-friendly” seafood, such as albacore tuna, while avoiding endangered species such as caviar from wild sturgeon or polluting products, such as farmed salmon.
Hill, a resident of Newport Coast whose charity work previously focused on causes to help abused women and foster children, said she chose to support Oceana because the charity has a track record of success that should appeal to Orange County’s business-oriented donors.
“We wanted to find one that’s extremely credible,” she said.
Other honorees at the party are Sam Waterston, star of “Law and Order,” and John Picard, a Corona del Mar expert on green building who appears in a forthcoming TV series “Greensburg” produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, about rebuilding a tornado devastated Kansas town on the Planet Green network.
Actor Ted Danson, the former star of “Cheers,” and Valarie Whiting, a Laguna Beach volunteer for the Great Park Conservancy and Girls Inc. of Orange County, co-chair the Sea Change Summer Party. Corporate sponsors include Toyota, La Mer and PIMCO. There is still an opportunity for a corporate sponsor to share naming rights to the party by donating $100,000, Hill said.
If I had $1000, I'd go and bring a hot date!