Oceana, the largest international organization dedicated solely to protecting the world’s oceans, is pleased to announce the total amount realized at this weeks’s Inaugural Oceana Ball.

The star-studded affair raised close to $1 million in proceeds via the live auction of fantasy lots curated by Oceana. Proceeds of this year’s gala directly benefit the protection and restoration of shark populations.

“Oceana is delighted with the success of the Inaugural Oceana Ball and of its companion online auction at Charitybuzz.com, which runs through April 17. We are grateful to everyone who has raised a paddle, made an online bid, or helped bring attention to the cause,” said Oceana CEO, Andy Sharpless. “This support will help Oceana win policy victories to help protect sharks, many species of which are under threat around the world.”

Co-chaired by Oceana Ambassador, Kate Walsh, David & Susan Rockefeller, and Steven & Anne Murphy, the auction was officiated by Christie’s charity auctioneer and Director of Strategic Partnerships, Lydia Fenet. After the bidding, the audience enjoyed a special musical performance by O.C.A.D. featuring Olivia Cipolla, who is set to release a new album this summer.

Event attendees included: Susan & David Rockefeller, Kate Walsh, Steven & Anne Murphy, Chris Hemsworth, Elsa Pataky, Luke Hemsworth, Adrian Grenier, Sami Gayle, Les Stroud, Almudena Fernandez, Alexandra Cousteau, Jennifer Tilly, and Cameron Silver.

The opportunity to have lunch with President Clinton and Susan & David Rockefeller at Blue Hill at Stone Barns swept the evening sale with a winning bid of $110,000. Other fantasy lots, generously provided by JW Marriott Hotels and Resorts, with trips to their properties in Cancun, Costa Rica, Thailand, Ihilani and Dubai generating nearly $40,000.

The Oceana Ball will continue raising funds online at Charitybuzz.com/Oceana through April 17. Lots in the online auction include: Artwork from Peter Lik, Isack Kousnsky, Deborah Buck, Laura Bombier, and David Foox, three custom surfboards from artist Peter Tunney, jewelry and timepieces from Shirley Ephraim, Susan Rockefeller and CORUM, getaways from JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts and more.

The Oceana Ball focused its attention for the inaugural year on shark conservation, an issue highlighted last year at the third and final Green Auction hosted by Christie’s. Fueled by the support from last year’s event, Oceana made significant progress by helping advance the west coast population of great white sharks to its current position as candidate for the Endangered Species Act. Recent studies show that there may be as few as 350 adult white sharks left in the west coast population. An Endangered Species Act listing will afford the sharks additional safeguards from key threats and garner more funding for research to better understand the status and threats to this distinct population. Proceeds generated from this year’s event will aid Oceana’s efforts to secure protection for this specific population of sharks and others.
The initiative was made possible through the joint efforts of Oceana together with Charitybuzz and Christie’s, in addition to the support of all of the visionary leaders from the worlds of art, business, fashion, philanthropy, conservation and celebrity.

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