Santa Barbara Channelkeeper’s annual Blue Water Ball will set sail virtually this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The organization’s 20th Annual Blue Water Ball – Second Sail will take place online at 5 p.m. Sept. 9.
The free event will feature Geoff Green, the CEO of the City College Foundation, as master of ceremonies, and a few words from Channelkeeper executive director Kira Redmond.
That will kick off the silent auction and raffle, which will be open for online bidding from Sept. 9 through Sept. 23.
The Blue Water Ball is the most crucial fundraiser for the nonprofit, providing volunteers with the ability to monitor waterway health, advocate for clean water and environmental justice, hold polluters accountable and educate the next generation of environmental stewards.
The money raised from the event accounts for 25% of the organization’s budget for 2020.
“This (COVID-19) is totally new for everybody. We’re all experiencing it together,” Debra McCarty, the development director for Channelkeeper, told the News-Press. “But none of our work in our mission has stopped or changed. We are still here to protect the Santa Barbara Channel.”
The silent auction and raffle will feature many items, such as vacations, ocean adventures, wetsuits donated by Patagonia, outdoor gear, local art, jewelry and more.
The online auction will work much like a paddle raise, where bidders will use an online software to press a button to bid.
“This is a team effort. We’re all hands on deck right now to host our guests,” Ms. McCarty said. “We’re excited to just visit with everybody and see everybody join us. It’s such a blessing to be with all our ocean-loving supporters.”
Participants must register in advance for the event at https://paybee.io/vevent.html?action=openrsvp&eventId=5f1b5f66365fca4b07b78bd3. After registering, participants will receive an email with the link to join.
To shop for items in the auction and purchase tickets for the raffle, visit https://paybee.io/quickpay.html?handle=cleansb_h2o&ppid=1#optionList.