The Orangutan Conservancy’s 10th Anniversary Fundraiser held this weekend was a wonderful time for our organization, and we want to thank everyone who joined us in Los Angeles at a beautiful Brookside home for the event.
There was great music, food, drink, speakers and conversation under both the sun and stars at the fundraiser.
Guests arrived in the late afternoon to discover an idyllic multi-tiered, outdoor environment that included its own stream “El Rio Del Jardin de Las Flores” over which they crossed on a wooden bridge that led them into the expansive backyard where the festivities took place. The outdoor setting was elegantly decorated with prints from Indonesia, and there were hidden plush orangutans all over the trees.
Smiling guests tasted delectable treats from chef Judy Segami and were entertained by musician extraordinaire Bill Degadillo. After having a glass of wine many guests then took to the silent auction tables to bid on numerous goodies that included a schooner cruise around Indonesia, great artwork and photographs, entertainment-themed baskets and even orangutan-made necklaces. All of the items were popular but Rosie the orangutan’s necklaces were clearly favorites and had some frenzied bidding activity.
Before long, OC board member Juanita Kempe welcomed the guests and introduced our celebrity host for the evening, actress Linda Henning, who regaled the growing crowd with great wit and charm. Linda, even quipped that she has a special affinity for orangutans because they share the same color as her own red hair.
OC’s Raffaella Commitante then gave a high-energy talk about the OC/OVAG Workshop and even presented a cute film about Gavo, the workshop’s stuffed animal mascot, who travels around the world as an emissary of the annual event.
As the sun set, our keynote speaker for the event, world renowned primatologist Dr. Anne Russon, took the microphone and enthralled guests with a firsthand account of Borneo and her orangutan research work being done at the research site of the Orangutan Kutai Project.
Under the light of tiki torches, Norm Rosen, OC’s president, spoke a bit about OC with his typical good charm and he had the audience smiling.
As the end of the evening approached, a video presentation focusing on the projects that OC helps to support was shown to the audience members as they sampled irresistible desserts from the chef. Post-screening, it was a race to the auction tables before bidding closed, and then all too soon we handed gift bags out and said our goodnights to those who so generously came out to support us at our diamond anniversary.
The Orangutan Conservancy is so very appreciative to those who bought tickets to and made donations toward our fundraiser. It was an honor to meet so many of you whose names we’ve known over the years but had yet to get to know you face to face.
Also special thanks go out to our location’s homeowner, Laura Cohen, the event’s entire organizing committee, and, of course, to all of the volunteers who helped to make this special night such a great success!