Art 90266

October 03, 2011

The idea was for LA25 to host a fundraiser to raise a few dollars for a local charity.

It’s the right thing to do.... you know, work for the betterment of our communities .... to embrace a bit of our social responsibility. It is also part of our LA25 Vision Statement which I authored, “...to operate from a platform of altruism believing that doing well and doing good are compatible aspirations...” so we’d better get on with this charity event. And then there’s the selfish part. We all hoped - me included - that this event might garner some positive PR for LA25 and for each our respective businesses.

The first step was to select a charity and after a brief but passionate vetting process we selected The Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium in Manhattan Beach to receive the proceeds from our first event. They are local, familiar to many of our clients - and like most non-profits these days, are in serious need of improved financial support.

So, it seemed straightforward enough. Meet with the Aquarium people, organize a little event, and hand over a few bucks. Easy. What took me by surprise - even more than the complexities of organizing an event - was the work of the Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium. What I learned in my initial visit is that the staff includes an actual Marine Biologist and a dedicated team of colleagues and over 85 volunteers. What I learned is that this little round house with a few fish tanks in it at the end of the Pier sees over 125,000 visitors a year! What I learned is that the staff of this institution host summer camp programs for children, teach classes throughout the year, introduce their students to the joys of the ocean and beach, and send teachers out to schools throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties. What I learned is that they teach good science including the consequences of global warming, the effects of human populations on marine life, and good basic science theory so their students to learn how to think critically about real issues in the real world. What I learned is that the staff and volunteers of this organization actually care about the kids they mentor; they have fun interacting with them and nurturing hope for the future. What I learned is that every dollar we can raise for this organization will be a dollar well spent.

John Capellaro

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