Why 2017 Was the Best Year Ever at Harvest Moon

We’re still celebrating our 30th annual An Evening Under the Harvest Moon gala and want to a extend a huge THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts to all who helped create such a magical evening!

Gala emcees, Harry Hamlin and wife, Lisa Rinna

Together we raised $705,000 to create a safer, more shaded and climate-ready future for all Angelenos. This was a huge success and it could not have happened without people like YOU.

“Our supporters see the value and urgency when they invest in TreePeople. It is more critical than ever to combat climate change, and TreePeople is on the frontlines,” TreePeople Founder and President, Andy Lipkis said.

Celebrating with LA’s Climate Champions

You could feel the excitement in the air on our hilltop that evening. There was a soft, warm breeze and string lights glowed warm and elegant as TreePeople friends new and old mingled.  Laughs and smiles were also shared while Shaffer’s delicious h’orderves were passed around (word on the street: the mini chicken and waffles were a hit!). Attendees also experienced an interactive Honey Bee station, got to make silk-screened shirts and even were treated to hand massages by Kiehl’s!

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We were over the moon– some of Hollywood’s  greenest joined us to enjoy the warm fall evening including the lovebird and all-around sweetheart Holly Marie Combs who graced us with her presence for a third year. We were also happy to have new “treeps” enter the mix like White Famous and The Mindy Project actor, Utkarsh Ambudkar; Queer as Folk actor, Hal Sparks and Preacher actress, Julie Ann Emery.

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Honorees Light Up the Night

After an eventful cocktail hour, the program kicked off. Guests were greeted by Hollywood “it-couple” Harry Hamlin and his spouse, Lisa Rinna as they lead the evening as the gala’s emcees.

Guests enjoyed a delicious dinner, while longtime supporters and climate champions, Ed Begley, Jr. and his wife, Rachelle Carson joined the stage to host a Q&A discussion with Andy Lipkis and Evergreen Award for Visionary Leadership awardee, Macerich Chairman and CEO, Art Coppola. We honored Art for his “Innovating to Zero” long-term vision of zero energy waste, near-zero emissions, zero water waste and zero landfill impact.

We also honored our amazing  Environmental Education Department and Director, Candice Dickens-Russell with the Community Partnership Award. Each year, our Team inspires and educates more than 250,000 students through LA County Public Works’ Generation Earth program; hosts 10,000 school kids for field trips and trains hundreds of next-generation changemakers through our youth-led TreePeople EcoClubs and Community Green Teams.

Candice brings strength to her team because she comes to her work from a place of justice, equality and sustainability. It’s been her quest to ensure all California schoolchildren, regardless of income, background or neighborhood, have access to quality environmental education.

Longtime volunteer, and Purple Heart Marine, Merrill Koss also got the spotlight when he received the Barbara Goldenberg Award for Volunteer Service.

Merrill started volunteering with us in November 2014, after discovering one of our flyers in one of his favorite places to hike: Coldwater Canyon Park. Recently retired, he found he suddenly had a lot more time for the things he really cared about, like his long-time personal goal to plant more trees in the city.

Merrill has become such an indispensable member of the TreePeople community. But beyond all of his tremendous work, he has also become our friend.

Rounding Out An Evening Under the Harvest Moon

The spirit of giving was alive as our Director of Park Operations,  Jim Hardie, stepped up as the evening’s auctioneer. A sea of orange flooded the dining floor as guests contributed to expand our work to create shaded playgrounds, distribute fruit trees, train volunteers plus much more.  

As the night rounded off, we were serenaded by the multi-talented singer-songwriter Louise Goffin, who filled our canyon with beautiful music. We could not have thought of a better way to send of our wonderful guests!

We’re so grateful for the love and generosity for TreePeople that filled the evening. Thank you to all our generous sponsors who helped make this evening possible such as Westfield, Marilyn Ziering, Herbert Simon Family Foundation, KC Financier Group, Johnny Carson Family Foundation, Macerich, Subaru of Sherman Oaks, Southern California Gas, The Walt Disney Company, and Ira Ziering & Godeleine DeRosamel. And let us not forget all our amazing in-kind sponsors who provided us with everything to make the evening unforgettable. Thank you to The Flower Gypsies, CBT Candles, Lands End and Kiehl’s!

And most importantly THANK YOU our friends and supporters who were able to join us! We couldn’t do this meaningful work without you– our TreePeople family! We look forward to seeing each of you again next year.

Weren’t able to join us? Check out the rest of the pictures from this year’s event!

By Caitlin Dunham

After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Forestry and Natural Resource Management, Caitlin discovered a passion for working in social media and marketing and eventually found her way to TreePeople. With her unique forestry and marketing background, Caitlin is now growing and thriving within TreePeople’s Yurt Village. She loves that she can bridge the gap between science and marketing and is at the frontlines of educating Angelenos on trees and how they can save LA.