They did the swing. Played at gaming tables. Dined on beef Wellington. But, mostly, guests at the Great Gatsby by the Sea benefit for the Orange County Marine Institute on Saturday praised benefactors Claud and Jimmie Sympson of Anaheim. The Sympsons were presented with the institute's Lifetime Achievement Award.
"They've been the foundation for the organization," said institute president Stan Cummings, who attended with wife Sigrid. "At just the right times, they've brought their inspiration and support."
Net proceeds of about $35,000 from the event--held under a canopy in the Dana Point institute's parking lot--will go toward the purchase of two new 12-cylinder diesel engines for the facility's learning vessel, the R/V Sea Explorer. The Sympsons have donated $25,000 toward the project.
About 15,000 children annually board the Explorer to learn about the ocean, Cummings said. "The beach is like the desert as far as the ocean is concerned, because not much lives or grows there. We take children out on the water, where the ocean is very rich, and drop our nets to get microscopic creatures, small fish, invertebrates. Then we bring them up and talk about their characteristics and behaviors--how they match up to the places they live."
For information on the institute: (949) 496-2274.