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Tickets for Roundhouse Fundraiser on Sale

Sep 22, 2016 01:34PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Want to see some stars - and starfish? "Sea Starry Night" - a fundraising event for the Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium - might just be the perfect event for you.

Tickets for the event, to be held at the Manhattan Country Club on October 25, are now on sale through the Roundhouse Aquarium website. Tickets cost $125 each or two for $200. Proceeds will be used to seed an endowment and to cover operational and program expenses for the aquarium.

The fundraiser will feature over 50 silent and live auction items, a live band and dancing, celebrity appearances, hors d’oeuvres, and beer and wine. Auction items include a suite for a Lakers game, overnight stays at both the Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach Shade Hotels, a set visit to Modern Family, dinners at many of the fine local restaurants,health and beauty products and services, tickets for many sports events, autographed items, and dental braces.

The Master of Ceremonies for the event will be J. D. Roth, co-creator and executive producer of The Biggest Loser, actor, children's game show host, voice-over performer, and television producer of reality shows. Other celebrities who will be present include State Senator Ben Allen who will present a state resolution honoring the Aquarium, actor and singer Wally Kurth, Modern Family writer-producer Danny Zuker, and Olympic beach volleyball medalist Holly McPeak.

According to Lynne Gross, a member of the aquarium's Board of Directors who is coordinating the fundraiser, the fundraising committee has secured approximately $60,000 in sponsorships. Lead sponsors including the Bloomfield Family Foundation, Continental Development Corporation; Chevron; Dickie and Mark Burton; Portia and Andy Cohen; Farmers Insurance - the Carla Ramirez Agency of Manhattan Beach; Lynne and Paul Gross; Gurman Wealth Management Inc. Insurance Strategies; Kinecta Federal Credit Union; Diane and John Roberts; Steve and Houry Samuelian; the West Basin Municipal Water District,and several anonymous donations. Sponsorships at the $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 levels are still available.

The fundraising committee includes many well-known names around town, including Andrea Boyer, Christine Cronin-Hurst, Cheryl Fire, Lysa Grigorian, Jeff and Yaira Gurman, Heather Interian, Michelle Kim, Loren Kosmont, Devon Langella, Jackie May, Steve and Houry Samuelian, Janet Soliman-Suard, Heidi Thompson, Elaine Trotter, Dickie VanBreene-Burton, Julie Watts, David White, and Annette Zuker.

The event will also incorporate the aquarium’s new name-- a change from Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium to the Roundhouse Aquarium Teaching Center.

The aquarium is an iconic piece of Manhattan Beach’s local landscape and a vital link to marine education. It serves over 15,000 students a year and hosted approximately 300,000 visits in 2015.

“For many youth who walk through the aquarium doors, a visit to the Roundhouse is their first exposure to oceanic and environmental sciences.” noted Valerie Hill, the aquarium’s administrative director.

Last year the Harrison Greenberg Memorial Foundation committed, with the City of Manhattan Beach, to an interior beautification of the Aquarium. The generous gift is for the interior renovation of the building only; it does not cover yearly costs of operation or the Roundhouse educational programs.

This fundraiser is needed to support the aquarium’s programs such as teaching about the ocean and the environment to students from all over Los Angeles County, keeping the aquarium open for members of the public, and operating a thriving volunteer program.

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