2016 - 09 ODI Bubble Up! Gala
Ocean Discovery Institute Conquers Heroic Fundraising Feats at Annual Bubble Up! Gala

Ocean Discovery Institute​’s black-tie affair called on over 300 business and philanthropic heroes to the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa​ on Saturday, September 10, 2016 in support of tuition-free science education programs for urban youth. This year’s evening theme, Our Heroes…Extraordinary, celebrated the heroic endeavors and achievements of supporters and students alike.

Attendees enjoyed a lively auction, an inspiring student-infused program, and a chance to meet Ocean Discovery students to hear firsthand how Ocean Discovery Institute has impacted their journey to a scientific future. They met college graduates who are now in science careers, high school and middle school students who recently traveled to Baja California to conduct research with scientists in the field, and elementary school students who are just beginning their heroic journey with Ocean Discovery. With over 40 students donning capes, this opportunity for guest-interaction enabled the supporters to understand their role in helping these young people achieve success.

During the event, Ocean Discovery Executive Director Shara Fisler addressed the audience, sharing what our students’ heroic journeys look like; “In their case, the villains aren’t as easily identifiable as the Joker. Sometimes the villain is poverty, sometimes it’s an absence of opportunity, and sometimes the villain is within ourselves as we lack the confidence we need to succeed. And the ordeal doesn’t just come at the climax of a blockbuster. Ordeals come at every stage of young person’s journey – battling to grasp science while still learning English, going to college despite no one in your family knowing how to get there, or becoming a scientist when those before you weren’t included. Acts of courage, service to others, changing the world for the better – that’s what makes a hero. And that’s who I know our students to be.”

Proceeds from the gala will support programs and pave the way for an expansion that will provide 20,000 young people with hands-on science and conservation education every year. This year’s event called on our heroes to ensure each student’s heroic journey ends in victory. Gala attendees heeded that call Saturday night in an overwhelming display of generosity, giving $310,000, making this year’s gala the most successful to date.

Gala Chair, Vincy Dunmire considers the success of the gala as truly extraordinary; “It all came together in such a fantastic way as a result of amazing volunteers, incredible students, a staff that goes above and beyond, and a Board of Directors that couldn’t get any better. Our next challenge is to top this year, but we are looking forward to doing just that at our new venue, THE US GRANT Hotel​, in 2017.”

Public officials in attendance included San Diego State Unified Board President Michael McQuary, San Diego Unified School District Board Trustee Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters, and Office of Congresswoman Susan A. Davis Staffer Lee Steuer.

Bubble Up! was made possible by the support of Boeing Company​; Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP​; Cox Communications​; KP Environmental; RECON​; SDG&E​; Bumble Bee Seafoods​; On Call Staffing Solutions Inc.​; and Hughes Marino​.
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