In a surprise appearance at Oceana's New York Gala last night, former president Bill Clinton presented actor and Oceana board member Ted Danson with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his three decades of ocean advocacy.
“The real reason you’re giving Ted Danson this award tonight is that for more than 30 years he has been at this cause,” President Clinton said. He also spoke about the need to protect ocean ecosystems from the threat of climate change and discussed how healthy, sustainable fisheries can help feed the world’s population.
Ted Danson thanked President Clinton and the assembled crowd for his award. “I kept showing up,” he said. “Everything else was the people around me.”
“This life is not about you or about us,” Danson said. “It’s about stewardship of what we’ve been given. I think about my children not being able to experience what I have and what we have. That’s one of the reasons why I’m still here.”
The annual New York Gala dinner for Oceana was hosted by Susan and David Rockefeller, Violaine and John Bernbach, and Loic Gouzer.
“I am so grateful to see so many important ocean advocates and supporters here tonight,” Susan Rockefeller said. “This is a critical time for our oceans, and we need all of your help. Without you – all of you who support our work – we cannot win the victories that must be won. Thank you all so much for coming here tonight to support Oceana and our oceans.”
This year’s Gala was held at the legendary Blue Hill at Stone Barns and featured an extraordinary culinary experience that highlighted sustainability on land and sea. Guests enjoyed a beautiful cocktail reception and inventive hors d’oeuvres followed by a gourmet dinner presented by chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill.
Award-winning actor Sam Waterston served as the master of ceremonies. Also honored was Kelly Hallman, founder of the Living Peace Foundation. Notable attendees included Susan and David Rockefeller, Adrian Grenier, Lyor Cohen, Xin Li, Loic Gouzer, model Abbey Lee, Leslie Zemeckis, Kara Ross, Julie Gilhart, Katherine Farley, and Khaled and Olfat Juffali. Musical guest Cobi performed.