Archives for 2021

OC Parks Announces 2021 Summer Concert Series and Sunset Cinema Film Series

The County of Orange and OC Parks are pleased to announce the return of the annual OC Parks Summer Concert Series and Sunset Cinema film series. All events will include free parking with food and drink available for purchase. Spend summer evenings in a family-friendly environment with free live music and movie screenings at parks across Orange County. 

OC Parks Summer Concert Series returns with free outdoor concerts on Thursday evenings beginning June 24 from 5 – 8 p.m. Enjoy live music under the summer sky at Craig Regional Park, Mason Regional Park, Irvine Regional Park, Mile Square Regional Park and Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach.  

The concert series kicks off with Flashback Heart Attack on June 24 at Craig Regional Park in Fullerton, followed by fan-favorite local artists including Uptown Funk, Surf’s Up, The Fenians, Queen Nation, and Tijuana Dogs. Free concerts continue with contemporary swing revival band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on August 5 at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley, followed by the ultimate Smiths and Morrissey tribute band Sweet and Tender Hooligans, and blues and soul and rock band Family Style. Donavon Frankenreiter will close out the 2021 OC Parks Summer Concert Series at Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach. 

OC Parks Sunset Cinema film series brings family-friendly movies to the big screen at regional parks on Friday nights starting June 18. Enjoy a screening under the stars at Craig Regional Park, Carbon Canyon Regional Park, Yorba Regional Park, Mason Regional Park, Irvine Regional Park, Laguna Niguel Regional Park, and Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach. 

Guests of all ages are invited to enjoy recent favorites and popular classics throughout the summer. The event sites open at 6 p.m. and the movies begin at approximately 8 p.m. after sundown. 

Friday night films kick off on Friday, June 18 and include the following: The NeverEnding Story (1984), How to Train Your Dragon (2010), Independence Day (1996), Dolittle (2020), The Sandlot (1993), Toy Story 4 (2019), Willow (1988),The Lion King (2019), The Mighty Ducks (1992), Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019), Hook (1991), Dolphin Tale (2011), and The Little Mermaid (1989). 

“The County of Orange and OC Parks are thrilled to be able to present the summer concert and movie series in person once again,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “These concert and movie events provide a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to come enjoy entertainment in a beautiful, outdoor setting.”

OC Parks Summer Concert Series and OC Parks Sunset Cinema film series are entirely outdoors and will be held in accordance with the most current guidance from State and local health agencies. All events are open to the public of all ages and free to attend with free parking. Food trucks and booths will be available for delicious bites and beverages. Gather friends and family and enjoy free concerts and movie screenings this summer with OC Parks.

OC Parks Summer Concert Series

Thursday nights, 5 p.m. (Event starts at 5 p.m., live music begins at 6 p.m.)

Date: June 24

Concert: Flashback Heart Attack @ Craig Regional Park

Date: July 1

Concert: Uptown Funk @ Craig Regional Park

Date: July 8

Concert: Surf’s Up @ Mason Regional Park

Date: July 15

Concert: The Fenians @ Mason Regional Park

Date: July 22

Concert: Queen Nation @ Irvine Regional Park

Date: July 29

Concert: Tijuana Dogs @ Irvine Regional Park

Date: August 5

Concert: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy @ Mile Square Regional Park 

Date: August 12 

Concert: Sweet and Tender Hooligans @ Mile Square Regional Park 

Date: August 19

Concert: Family Style @ Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach

Date: August 26

Concert: Donavon Frankenreiter @ Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach

OC Parks Sunset Cinema Movie Series

Friday nights, 6 p.m. (Event starts at 6 p.m., movie begins at sunset)

Date: June 18

Movie: TheNeverEnding Story (1984) @ Craig Regional Park

Date: June 25

Movie: How to Train Your Dragon (2010) @ Carbon Canyon Regional Park

Date: July 2

Movie: Independence Day (1996) @ Carbon Canyon Regional Park

Date: July 9

Movie: Dolittle (2020) @ Yorba Regional Park 

Date: July 16

Movie: The Sandlot (1993) @ Yorba Regional Park 

Date: July 23

Movie: Toy Story 4 (2019) @ Mason Regional Park 

Date: July 30

Movie: Willow (1988) @ Mason Regional Park

Date: August 6

Movie: The Lion King (2019) @ Irvine Regional Park 

Date: August 13

Movie: The Mighty Ducks (1992) @ Irvine Regional Park 

Date: August 20

Movie: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) @ Laguna Niguel Regional Park

Date: August 27

Movie: Hook (1991) Laguna Niguel Regional Park

Date: September 3

Movie: Dolphin Tale (2011) @ Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach

Date: September 10

Movie: The Little Mermaid (1989) @ Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach

Credit: OC Parks.

Spirit Untamed * A Sequel That Is Sure To Capture New Audiences, Especially Horse Lovers

After moving to a sleepy little town, young Lucky Prescott befriends a wild mustang named Spirit, who shares her rebellious spirit. When a heartless wrangler plans to capture Spirit and his herd, Lucky and her new friends embark on the adventure of a lifetime to rescue the horse that forever changed her life.  KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Selene W. comments, “Spirit Untamed is from DreamWorks Animation so you know the characters and scenery are going to be depicted flawlessly.  I love how this film keeps the feel from the original movie but adds another layer of lush detail under the guidance of Director Elaine Bogan who has a personal connection with horses.” Maica M. adds, “Spirit Untamed is a fun-filled animated movie that will have you on the edge of your seat with its rollercoaster of emotions. It is full of suspense, humorous moments and scenes showcasing beautiful relationships. Spirit Untamed is one of the most captivating animated films I’ve seen…” Giana M. wraps it with, “Spirit Untamed is a thrilling and exciting animated film that keeps you entertained throughout the whole movie. It showcases the friendship between humans and horses, has great messages and holds your interest until the end.”

Spirit Untamed

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13 

Adventure awaits in Spirit Untamed, the next chapter in the beloved animated Spirit franchise which is sure to capture a new audience of followers. Spirit Untamed is the story of connection between a girl named Lucky (Isabela Merced) and a wild mustang stallion she names Spirit.  Lucky is a spirited girl and has difficulty fitting into the traditional life that her family plans for her.  Her Aunt Cora (Julianne Moore) takes her away from social pressure for the summer to the frontier town of Miradero to live with her estranged father Jim Prescott (Jake Gyllenhaal).  On the train to Miradero she encounters Spirit and his wild herd.  The story evolves as both Lucky and Spirit adapt to new circumstances and learn to embrace change as well as rely on the friendship and support of others. 

Lucky is fortunate to find two steadfast friends in Abigail Stone (Mckenna Grace) and Pru Granger (Marsai Martin) who emulate the connection between a girl and her horse that Lucky desires with Spirit.  Both girls teach her about equestrian and human connections.  I love the fun-loving and spunky character, Abigail, who brings so much humor to the movie which is offset by the sarcasm of Pru. Together these three girls are unstoppable in their efforts to rescue Spirit and his herd from a group of wranglers that threaten their freedom.

Spirit Untamed is from DreamWorks Animation so you know the characters and scenery are going to be depicted flawlessly.  I love how this film keeps the feel from the original movie but adds another layer of lush detail under the guidance of Director Elaine Bogan who has a personal connection with horses.  My favorite scene is what I call “the tango” between Lucky and Spirit when she is trying to coax him to accept her.  The pull of their relationship shows and is enhanced perfectly by the light and playful music composed by Amie Doherty.  I really like how the movie incorporates the actors singing with their roles—I love to hear Isabela Merced’s beautiful voice and even Jake Gyllenhall trying to sing badly.

The one segment that bothers me is when Lucky first mounts Spirit.  The riding is unbelievable for a girl who is just learning and is more akin to a trained circus or stunt rider.  Horses are powerful animals, and I hope young viewers will understand that they need guidance around horses and to respect them.  I did love the personality that was given to all the horses in Spirit Untamed—each horse had its own lovable character and expressions.  Everyone will, of course, love the cuteness overload of the brave baby foal.   

What really stands out to me among this film’s many underlying messages is the theme of letting go and how hard that can be. I don’t want to elaborate further, as it would be a spoiler, but there is one great “letting go” scene with Lucky doing the right thing.  Friendship and loyalty are also important themes in Spirit Untamed, as Lucky searches for a place where she belongs.    

I rate Spirit Untamed 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12.  This movie will be in theaters June 4, 2021, so don’t miss this heartwarming story and adventure!

Spirit Untamed

Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 13

Spirit Untamed is a fun-filled animated movie that will have you on the edge of your seat with its rollercoaster of emotions. It is full of suspense, humorous moments and scenes showcasing beautiful relationships. Spirit Untamed is one of the most captivating animated films I’ve seen, with humorous scenes and a great message. Watching this movie on the big screen brings a special kind of magic that draws you in and makes you feel every emotion the characters are feeling. Whether it is a sense of elation, anger, determination or love; I felt it all.

The storyline followsa mischievous girl named Lucky (Isabela Merced) who goes to live with her grandfather after her mother passes away. After pulling too many stunts, her Aunt Cora (Julianne Moore) decides to take her to spend the summer with her father Jim (Jake Gyllenhaal). Lucky wasn’t expecting to have any fun or make a connection with anyone there and then she meets a beautiful wild mustang that she names Spirit. When she discovers that a horse wrangler named Hendricks (Walton Goggins) is trying to steal Spirit and his family, she teams up with her new friends Abigail (Mckenna Grace) and Pru (Marsai Martin) to save them.

Although Spirit Untamed is an animated film, it is filled with suspense. Lucky loves to take risks, and that means she is willing to do anything and everything she feels is right. For instance, while Lucky, Abigail and Pru ride their horses through Heck Mountain and over the Ridge of Regret, they are incredibly close to falling off the edge. The way these scenes are designed, and how the events unfold, had me genuinely nervous for the girls. The relationships in the film are well developed. Lucky and Jim’s relationship starts out shaky, but gradually grows throughout the movie. By the end of the movie, the father/daughter relationship is made whole. The friendship between Lucky, Pru and Abigail grows throughout the movie as well, which makes the film much more enjoyable. Something else that stands out is the music. The background music adds greatly adds to the suspense and propels the action. The songs highlight the stunning vocals of the talented performers Becky G. who sings “You Belong.” Its tempo builds as the excitement in the film builds. This sets the perfect tone for the movie, giving it a sense of hope. The cast is very diverse and featuring people from different backgrounds, which I appreciate as well. Spirit Untamed has it all!

The message of Spirit Untamed is: if you see something that’s wrong, speak up and do everything you can to put an end to it. Lucky is aware that it is wrong for Hendricks and his gang to take Spirit and his herd away. No matter what anyone tells her, she doesn’t rest until she finds a way to make everything right.

I rate Spirit Untamed 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, plus adults Spirit Untamed is available in theatres June 4, 2021. You better hurry; you don’t want to miss this!

Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

Spirit Untamed is a thrilling and exciting animated film that keeps you entertained throughout the whole movie. It showcases the friendship between humans and horses, has great messages and holds your interest until the end.

The story follows a girl named Lucky Prescott (Isabella Merced) who returned to live with her dad (Jake Gyllenhaal) for the summer. On the way, she meets a wild horse named Spirit that is adventurous and daring, just like her. Since Spirit is wild, he doesn’t trust Lucky at first. It takes him some time, but eventually he and Lucky become friends. Lucky comes across horse wranglers that are trying to capture Spirit and his herd. She is determined to do whatever it takes to save Spirit and his family.

Something that really impresses me about this film is the lip-syncing of the animated characters. Their mouths match exactly what they are saying. The background music sets the mood such as when scenes are intense, the music intensifies, which helps the audience connect with the mood of the scene. My favorite character is Lucky because she is adventurous, curious and fun. The moment she arrives at her father’s home, she sets off to explore and which leads her to an adventure right away. Her dad, Jim’s character develops the most during the movie. In the beginning, he is afraid something bad is going to happen to Lucky if she gets close to the horses, so he forbids her from being near them. Over time he realizes he can’t keep her from everything and learns to let her follow her heart. 

The message of Spirit Untamed is “when you trust someone they will learn to trust you.” The only warning I have for this film is that in some scenes, ropes are wrapped around the horse’s necks.

Spirit Untamed is an amazing film. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 14, plus adults. You can watch Spirit Untamed opens in theaters June 4, 2021. Go check it out!

Summer means it’s time to eat more fresh summer fruits and veggies on the grill and Arm & Hammer Fruit & Vegetable Wash is a must!

Summer is here and I love summer fruits and veggies like strawberries, squash, and grilled peaches! So, a fruit & vegetable wash is a real must-buy! A new favorite of mine is the Arm & Hammer Fruit & Vegetable Wash. It cleans 4x better than water alone and I love that it is free from harsh chemicals and leaves no taste or odor. I loved how clean my fruits and veggies are and that there is no bad taste. I will definitely be using this on all my veggies and fruits this summer.

It is so easy to use! Just spray, rub, rinse and enjoy cleaner produce. It really doesn’t get any easier than that! I have to admit I used to only use water to clean my fruits and veggies before I tried this Fruit & Vegetable Wash but I am so impressed with how well this cleans and how safe it is to use. Safely eliminate Pesticides, Wax, and Soil with the cleaning power of pure & simple ingredients like baking soda, salt, and plant-derived cleaning agents.

You can purchase at many locations including Amazon, and Lowe’s. Find out all the locations to buy here.

Self Disclosure: I am participating in the Arm & Hammer Ambassador program and received free samples/compensation to post. Photo Credit: SoCal City Kids.

Americanish * A Breath Of Fresh Air Looking At Rom-Coms Through A New Lens

The 2021 CAAMFest Audience Award-winning film debut by Iman Zawahry takes place in Jackson Heights, Queens where two sisters and their fresh-off-the-boat cousin try all the conventional ways to earn the love and respect of their mother. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abigail L. comments, “Although still containing classic rom-com clichés, this film introduces diverse cultural and ethnic characters and story arcs to American film audiences. Writer and director Imam Zawahry highlights the strength of feminism and family ties as she explores the ups and downs of women in the work force and romance.” See her full review below.

Americanish

By Abigail Liu, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Americanish is a breath of fresh air as it looks at romantic comedy through a new lens. Although still containing classic rom-com clichés, this film introduces diverse cultural and ethnic characters and story arcs to American film audiences. Writer and director Imam Zawahry highlights the strength of feminism and family ties as she explores the ups and downs of women in the work force and romance.

Set in New York City, the lives of three Pakistani women are thrown into turmoil while they endure career, family, romance and culture clashes. Maryam (Salena Qureshi), a college student who dreams of attending Harvard Medical School, worries about her MCAT score and navigates her crush with her study partner, Shahid (Kapil Talwalkar), who happens to be married. Meanwhile, Maryam’s older sister, Khala (Lillete Dubey), attempts to score a work promotion and ignores the advances of a well-intentioned police officer. Their cousin, Ameera (Shenaz Treasury), moves in with their family from Pakistan in search of a doctor to marry, but her budding friendship with the local store clerk (Godfrey) risks putting a damper on her plans.

This film successfully shows the struggle of balancing cultural traditions with personal ambition through love and marriage, careers and family. When reading the summary of this story, it first seems overused and bland, but it is quite the opposite –  the message conveyed in the film is meaningful and empowering. The acting feels unconvincing at times, but the film’s message makes up for it. Even though there are a lot of Hollywood romantic comedy clichés found in the film, there are moments that are genuinely humorous and funny. My favorite part is the separate, but connected, stories of the three women. As the story progresses, they grow closer as they find themselves relating to one another in their disappointments with romance.

Americanish teaches women of all ages that it is never too late to find love and that being a woman can mean whatever you want it to be, whether that is becoming a successful businesswoman, a doctor or a loving wife. Parents should be aware that this film contains implied sex, references to adult minor language and references to sexism and racism.

I rate Americanish 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. This film can be viewed now at select festivals.

Gabby Duran & The Unsittables * On The Edge Of Your Seat With So Many Mysteries In Every Episode

Disney Channel’s out-of-this-world live-action comedy series “Gabby Duran & the Unsittables” has return for a second season on Disney Channel and DisneyNOW. The series stars multitalented actress and musician Kylie Cantrall as Gabby Duran, a teenaged girl who inadvertently lands a job babysitting an unruly group of VIP extraterrestrial children disguised as everyday kids. In season two, a resourceful and courageous Gabby faces even bigger challenges as she continues to protect her alien charges while also navigating the everyday emotional rollercoaster of middle school. The season picks up immediately after a cliffhanger with Gabby’s mom, Dina, on the verge of learning Gabby’s secret, which the intrepid teen will have to stop in order to avoid catastrophic outcomes. Other adventures this season will include a robot replica Gabby-bot running amok, an alien friend who turns into a “Predator” when she becomes emotional, and a quest to recover Principal Swift’s home after it’s shrunken down to the size of a dollhouse by an extraterrestrial prankster.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Makena P. comments, “I love Gabby Duran and the Unsittables so much because it has an effect that keeps you connected with the show the whole time. It has so many cliff hangers; you’re always wondering what will happen next; your always on the edge of your seat. I like that there are so many mysteries in each episode and that something new happens in every episode.” See her full review below.

Gabby Duran and the Unsittables

By KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Makena Parel, Age 12

I love Gabby Duran and the Unsittables so much because it has an effect that keeps you connected with the show the whole time. It has so many cliff hangers; you’re always wondering what will happen next; your always on the edge of your seat. I like that there are so many mysteries in each episode and that something new happens in every episode.

The storyline is about a young girl named Gabby Duran (Kylie Cantrall) who gets picked by Principal Swift (Nathan Lovejoy) who is an alien and wants Gabby to babysit aliens. This job is so important and, if anyone finds out aliens are real, then that would destroy the earth. Principle Swift needs Gabby to keep this a secret from everyone; she can’t tell anyone about aliens or her baby sitting job. Keeping that big of a secret might be a little hard for Gabby

This show is filled with lots of animated characters and other things that aren’t there in real life. They use the characters so well, and have amazing ways to incorporate them into the show. It’s cool how some aliens that Gabby is babysitting like Jeremy (Callen Farris), Kail (Mia Bella) and Sky (Elle McKinnon) have different powers. This isn’t a great sentence. First, avoid using the term “is amazing” as it doesn’t tell us anything. I was impressed by how the actors portrayed aliens that are uncertain about how to behave as human impersonators. Considering how young the cast is makes it doubly impressive. 

I enjoyed all of the other cast members, especially Coco Christo who plays Olivia Duran, because she’s so young and plays her part as Gabby’s sister so well. My favorite episode has to be the one with Cry Baby Duran, because it really shows the part of her and her friends being in middle school. The drama really starts to show and gets inside Gabby’s head and she is determined to find out who started the rumor. The other thing I found really interesting is how different directors (Joe Nussbaum and Leslie Kolins Small) direct different episodes, which gives the show great variety. For example, Joe Nussbaum directs 9 episodes and it is interesting because it must have been hard to for Kylie Cnatrall to adjust to the different directing styles. Then, Leslie Kolins Small directs 6 episodes and it captured my interest because all the episodes really turned out the same even though they all have different styles of directing, Kylie Cantrall and the directors worked together to make a great show.

The message of this series is that lying isn’t a good thing, but when there are lives on the line, you have to do your best to help everyone. Lying can turn into a big mess, so don’t let that fool you. This series shows that some people are not worth the risk and people don’t always love the idea secrets. Tell them before they find out for themselves.

I give Gabby Duran and the Unsittables 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 14. The new season comes out on Disney + on June 6, 2021.  

In the Heights * Wonderful Feel Good Summer Movie with Great Music, Dancing and Storyline

In the Heights centers on a variety of characters living in the neighborhood of Washington Heights, on the northern tip of Manhattan. At the center of the show is Usnavi, a bodega owner who looks after the aging Cuban lady next door, pines for the gorgeous girl working in the neighboring beauty salon and dreams of winning the lottery and escaping to the shores of his native Dominican Republic. Meanwhile, Nina, a childhood friend of Usnavi’s, has returned to the neighborhood from her first year at college with surprising news for her parents, who have spent their life savings on building a better life for their daughter. Ultimately, Usnavi and the residents of the close-knit neighborhood get a dose of what it means to be home. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “Did you love the musical In the Heights and want more? Well, your wish has come true and you can have more because In the Heights is now a movie! It has the same great soundtrack and is even more action packed.” See her full review below.  

In the Heights

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Did you love the musical In the Heights and want more? Well, your wish has come true and you can have more because In the Heights is now a movie! It has the same great soundtrack and is even more action packed.

In the Heights is about Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), a bodega owner, and his disappearing neighborhood in New York City, specifically Washington Heights. Small businesses are moving away; people are leaving; and Usnavi is going back to his home in the Dominican Republic to help his family. What will happen when Usnavi leaves?

This movie is based on the book by Quiara Alegria Hudes and musical, with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda – both titled with the same name. The music is phenomenal and very memorable because it makes you want to get up and dance. While writing this review, I still have all the songs stuck in my head.  Lin-Manuel Miranda also plays the Piragua Guy. Along with the music, the choreography is outstanding, particularly the group choreography – a mix of hip-hop and Latinx styles. Everyone is in sync and energetic. The scenes are very detailed, artistic and beautiful, with so much color. The acting is beyond amazing and every character is so believable and loveable. Anthony Ramos, as Usnavi, stands out and seems very genuine. Melissa Barrera, as Vanessa, shows so much perseverance for her dreams. Leslie Grace’s Nina is passionate as she deals with her character’s conflicts. My favorite character is Abuela Claudia because she is so loving to all, and she reminds us to have paciencia y fe (patience and faith). The characters speak Spanish at times during the film, so it helps if you have some knowledge of the Spanish language, but it’s not essential to enjoying the movie.

The main message is that sueñitos (little dreams) aren’t always easy; you have to work for them. In the Heights addresses some serious topics like attending college and dealing with racial bias as a minority. This movie has some profanity and suggestive references.

I give In the Heights 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theaters or on HBO Max June 11, 2021.

Ella, June 10th Pet of the Week!

Ella looks like the kid who sat next to you in third grade who said things like “Teacher! Teacher! Let me empty the pencil sharpener! I’ll do it! I’ll do it!” And yes, Ella is an eager girl who loves to walk on leash and be your buddy. She’s 8 years old and weighs 50 pounds, which shelter staff said is mostly in her legs. She’s potty trained and crate trained as well and would work best as the only pet in an adults-only home. Ella was surrendered by her owner and wants so badly to be teacher’s pet again. Adoptions are now conducted through appointment only, so call 562-570-PETS or email PetAdopt@longbeach.gov to meet Ella. Ask for ID#A657478.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Join a penguin, comedian, musician, and others for the Aquarium’s largest fundraising event

Musician Kodi Lee
Photos courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific

For the first time, the nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific’s Blue Whale Gala is going virtual. Everyone is invited to join comedian Iliza Shlesinger as she gets up-close with Fern the zebra shark, Gatz the Magellanic penguin, and Groot the giant Pacific octopus. Then, you can experience surprise cameo appearances by animal ambassadors, discover how the Aquarium is contributing to the recovery of endangered species, and celebrate with a toast. The Aquarium is also proud to present Charles Annenberg Weingarten, founder of explore.org, with its Ocean Conservation Award during this program. The evening will close with a musical performance by Kodi Lee, winner of America’s Got Talent Season 14. Lee has been a long-time participant in the Aquarium’s Festival of Human Abilities that celebrates the creative talents of people with disabilities, getting his start there when he was just 9 years old.

The Aquarium’s virtual Gala takes place on Saturday, June 12, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Day Time (PDT) with the virtual cocktail reception, followed by the evening program at 7:15 p.m. Fully tax-deductible tickets for the evening program are available for $50, giving you exclusive access to stream the show from your home. You can visit aquariumofpacific.org/gala to purchase tickets. All proceeds support the Aquarium’s education, conservation, and animal care programs.

HONOREE:    As founder of explore.org, Charles Annenberg Weingarten’s multimedia organization is the world’s largest live nature network with a mission to inspire life-long learning and champion the selfless acts of others. Thanks to Weingarten, the Aquarium of the Pacific installed its first two explore.org live web cameras in exhibits in 2010. Since then, the Aquarium has continued to strengthen the partnership with explore.org and currently has seven webcams in various exhibits from its 350,000-gallon Tropical Reef Habitat to its June Keyes Penguin Habitat. While these cameras have always been a great way to learn about the Aquarium of the Pacific’s animals, explore.org has given Aquarium members, donors, educators, and students the ability to connect with the animals throughout the pandemic and the temporary closures. Annenberg also serves as the vice president and director of the Annenberg Foundation, which has been a generous donor of the Aquarium for over twenty years. “With live cameras, the real essence is the selfless nature of individuals who are dedicated to making this place a better place to live in. As a philanthropist, you take care of what you love,” said Weingarten. 

WHEN:  Saturday, June 12, 2021, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PDT

WHERE: Online (link to be provided after ticket purchase)

COST: $50 ticket (fully tax-deductible)

INFO: (562) 590-3100 or visit aquariumofpacific.org/gala

GALA SPONSORS:

Blue Whale Sponsors

  • Esther S.M. Chui Chao
  • explore.org
  • Don Temple Family Charitable Foundation

Humpback Whale Sponsors

  • Bank of America
  • Johnny Carson Foundation
  • Pepsi
  • Port of Long Beach
  • Ed Feo
  • Michael and Millie Sondermann

Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.