Stars turn out for Oceana fundraiser

More than 400 people attended Oceana's fifth annual SeaChange Summer Party fundraiser Sunday, which raised more than $1 million for the ocean conservation nonprofit.

The event, held at a private coastal home in Laguna Beach, featured a blue carpet to walk, a sit-down dinner, presentations from Oceana's directors and supporters, a silent and live auction, and dancing "under the stars," according to a news release.

Special guests were actors Morgan Freeman and Jeff Goldblum, and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. Other celebrities in attendance included Ted Danson, Aimee Teegarden, Dennis Haysbert, Beverly D'Angelo, Ed Begley Jr. and Steve Howey.

"The ocean is my second home. It's my backyard — because I'm a blue water sailor," Freeman told the crowd, according to a statement. "I have the utmost faith after seeing and feeling the spirit of the people at this event tonight, and having worked with the dedicated people at Oceana, that this can happen, that we can save the oceans. I applaud you for your work."

South Coast Plaza and Tricia and Michael Berns also were honored for their support of the cause.

Items auctioned off included a seven-day Caribbean voyage on the world's largest recreational catamaran, Hemisphere, the release said. Bidding on that alone raised $160,000 for Oceana. Other gifts auctioned off were a 2012 Fisker Karma sedan and fine jewelry from Harry Winston and Mikimoto.

Oceana senior advisor Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of filmmaker Jacques Cousteau, emceed the event.

"My grandfather certainly knew what he was doing. He always said, 'People protect what they love, and they love what they know,'" Cousteau told attendees, according to a statement. "That's why the SeaChange community is so important and such a powerful vehicle for Oceana and ocean conservation.

"This community lives with the ocean every day. You surf it. You dive in it. You swim it in. You walk by it and gaze at it. And you have learned to love the ocean. By joining us here today you are helping us to protect it."

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