Clean Ocean Action’s “Fire & Ice” Gala

J4NR(2)On December 10, Clean Ocean Action (COA) and more than 300 friends of the ocean kicked off the holiday season with its “Fire & Ice” fundraiser, held at the aptly chosen Windows on the Water (of Surfrider Beach Club) in Sea Bright. It was the perfect setting, and the artistic and environmentally conscious Fire & Ice-themed decorations included handmade driftwood logs with candles, icicles framing the arched entryway, and crystals hanging from branches as the centerpieces. The fabulous night raised over $50,000 to support COA’s year-round efforts to keep the ocean clean and safe for all to enjoy.

The night began with a fire-inspired cocktail hour, featuring libations sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and wine and beer by Shore Point Distributors, with music by the Taylor Tote Band. Guests feasted on the bounty from the sea at the gourmet raw bar provided by The Lusty Lobster, as well as delicious dinner selections by Chef Pete Cruz of Windows on the Water. The merriment continued as the evening transitioned from fire to an ice theme, with live music from the Jersey Shore-based contemporary band, The Haven, featuring special guest Thom White.

“The ocean provides endless waves of joy and memories year-round,” said Cindy Zipf, COA’s executive director. “Protecting and defending these ecological and economic resources from harm requires vigilance and tenacity. COA watches over the ocean to prevent harmful industrialization and sources of pollution and ensures that all waterways that flow to the ocean are clean. That is why we launched “Rally for the Navesink” this past year.”

J4NR(1)Lisa and Ken Wilson, longtime dedicated ocean advocates and supporters of Clean Ocean Action, co-chaired the benefit. “We were privileged to chair this important fundraising event for COA, and are grateful for all the true-blue Friends of the Sea who came out to support this important fundraiser,” the Wilsons stated.

The LoBiondo Family, owners of Surfrider Beach Club and Windows on the Water shared, “Our family bought Surfrider Beach Club in 1986. Since then the quality of the water has tremendously improved and COA is hugely responsible for that. I never saw whales and dolphins so frequently until recently. That’s due to the cleaner waters. We appreciate all that Clean Ocean Action does to protect the shore and we are honored to host the event. We are happy to give back to the community. It’s a legacy that was instilled in our family by our mom, Denise LoBiondo.”

The funds raised will also provide essential support for COA’s variety of successful programs, including educational resources and activities, state-of-the-art scientific research, water quality monitoring, community and citizen action campaigns, and much more.

For more information about Clean Ocean Action, please visit www.cleanoceanaction.org.