Kicking off the celebration of its 25th anniversary, environmental group Heal the Bay has announced an eclectic group of green leaders to be honored at its Bring Back the Beach gala dinner on May 20.

Held on the sand at The Jonathan Beach Club, the gala is dubbed “An Evening Under The Stars.” Nearly 1,000 guests will join together to recognize the eco-accomplishments of Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage, The Walt Disney Company, environmental engineer and business leader Jack Baylis, and longtime Heal the Bay boardmember and fundraiser Luann Laval Williams.

Celebrities expected to attend include actresses Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Amy Smart, as well as TV personalities Chad Lowe, Donna Mills and Lindsay Wagner.

Cage, whose latest film Kick Ass is the No. 1 new release at the boxoffice, is a longtime major donor of Heal the Bay. In addition to his work to protect the health of our local oceans, he has been deeply involved in the re-building of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Best known for his work in such films as Leaving Las Vegas, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1995, Cage has also directed and produced films, including Shadow of the Vampire.

At the heart of The Walt Disney Company’s nearly two decades of support for Heal the Bay is its employee “VoluntEARS,” who have donated hundreds of hours in numerous local coastal cleanup efforts. Their dedication is a reflection of the company’s rich environmental legacy, which spans more than 60 years , beginning with Walt Disney, whose love of nature was incorporated in so many of Disney’s earliest classics. That commitment to environmental stewardship continues to grow through efforts to minimize the company’s operational impact, significant investments in environmental projects around the world and initiatives that inspire stewardship in others.

Disney’s Friends for Change: Project Green for everyday life and Disney’s Planet Challenge for the classroom are cornerstones of Disney’s focus to provide the youth of today with the knowledge and resources to positively impact the environment for future generations. Storytelling about the beauty and importance of nature continues to thrive through the Disneynature film studio, whose most recent documentary, OCEANS, chronicles the mysteries and amazing creatures of the sea.

“We are lucky to have had the support of so many dynamic and diverse individuals and organizations over the past 25 years,” said Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay. “This year’s honorees represent the best of environmental stewardship and have worked diligently to safeguard our coastal resources.”

Subaru has generously donated a 2010 Outback PZEV sports-utility vehicle to be auctioned off during the gala. Additionally, $50 is being donated to Heal the Bay for all test drives through May 31 at all Southern California Subaru dealerships.

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