On October 6th, 2018, we held our second annual Gala at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach, CA.
Emceeing our event for the second year in a row was George Argyros Jr., a local philanthropist and longtime supporter of our organization.
Thanks to our unbelievable supporters, we brought in over $800,000 that evening!
Other highlights included the honoring of Julian and Aleen Movsesian as our first-ever Philanthropic Champion, and a presentation given by this year’s Conservationist of the Year, Saba Douglas-Hamilton and Frank Pope of Save The Elephants.
Scott Struthers, a well-known businessman in San Clemente, founded our organization two years ago with one mission: to save the African elephants before it’s too late. After visiting Africa, he developed a deep passion for conserving wildlife and halting the extinction of elephants. Scott worked alongside us to plan our second annual Gala. The goal of the event was to raise awareness and funds for our projects and partners doing the work on the ground in Africa.
The evening of our event, guests arrived dressed in their finest attire with an eagerness to support our cause. They were in for an evening full of great food, company, fun, and philanthropy. We began with a lively cocktail hour, where guests could preview our available items up for auction.The proceeds from these items would help support the needs and mission of our organization. While perusing the auction items, attendees could also buy beautiful handmade, Kenyan jewelry, courtesy of Raabia Hawa from Walk With Rangers, an initiative focused on raising awareness of the harsh conditions rangers endure while patrolling in the bush. Guests could also purchase a champagne raffle ticket to win a two-night stay at the El Camino Hotel in Laguna Beach as well as snap a quick photo at our step and repeat.
After a successful cocktail hour, guests were ushered into the main dining room to enjoy a beautiful dinner as well as the awarding of our Philanthropic Champion and Conservationist of the Year. As a top donor at last year’s Gala and a guest on our most recent trip to Africa this past April, Julian and Aleen Movsesian were honored as our first-ever Philanthropic Champion. Following this award was the Conservationist of the Year, which was awarded to Saba Douglas-Hamilton and Frank Pope from Save The Elephants. Save The Elephants is an organization dedicated to sustaining elephant populations and preserving their habitats. Saba and Frank accepted their award and treated guests with a presentation focused on the impact of elephant conservation. The night wrapped up with a live auction consisting of dazzling packages and entertainment provided by X Factor’s Kristine Mirelle.
With an amazing turnout of over 350 attendees and over $800,000 brought in, it is safe to say our 2018 Gala was a success! This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our generous supporters and partners, and the hard work of our staff and volunteers.
Plans are already in effect for next year’s 2019 Gala. Sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop of future details HERE.