We here at TreePeople are still buzzing over our 32nd annual An Evening Under The Harvest Moon gala. Over 350 of our biggest supporters joined us to raise over 465,000 dollars and celebrate some of TreePeople’s dearest partners who are working with us to help create a greener, healthier, more climate-resilient future for Los Angeles and the world.
Guests began to arrive right as the sun made its dip below the Beverly Hills skyline. The golden hour light perfectly accented the hilltop setting, with our conference center transformed into a grand outdoor ballroom. Our guests were greeted with refreshments and hors d’oeuvres from Schaffers as they mingled with a who’s who of environmental and local policy all-stars. As they made their way to the dining area, the Foshay Learning Center’s Jazz Band began to play as string lights twinkled above, shining like our own personal Milky Way as the last light made way for the moon.
The program kicked off with applause as Beth Burnam of the North Topanga Fire Safe Council and the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains was awarded the Barbara Goldenberg Volunteer Award for her tireless commitment to creating a safer environment for those who live along the urban-wildlife interface in the Santa Monica Mountains and developing a new standard for communities in fire-prone areas to help make it easier for first responders in emergency situations. “A majority of homes lost to wildfire are because of embers,” remarked Burnam. “There’s so much we can do to fireproof our homes so they don’t have to burn.”
Upstart neighborhood group Save Our Canyon was next, receiving TreePeople’s Partner in Community Award for their work in activating the Benedict Canyon Community to preserve the land as a wildlife corridor in the face of development. “This [type of project] would create a domino effect that would ripple throughout the Santa Monica Mountains. We are honored to receive this award from TreePeople,” stated Save Our Canyon president Mark Levin.
As the evening reached its end, we honored our partnership with The Boeing Company. From restoration work, to helping us create more green space at schools, to funding our research on how best to respond to climate change, The Boeing Company and their employees have been long-standing supporters of TreePeople’s work and mission. Accepting the Evergreen Award was Steven Shestag, Boeing’s Director of the Environment. He touted his personal connection with TreePeople, beginning with helping to pot seedlings as a teen in the earliest days of TreePeople, all the way up to his volunteer work with McDonnell Douglas and then with The Boeing Company.
“Today, TreePeople is thriving like never before,” TreePeople CEO Cindy Montanez told the crowd. “We are caring for record numbers of trees, restoring fire-ravaged areas… and we will leave no community behind!”