Thanks to the generous donations from members of the diving community, funds raised for the Catalina Island Hyperbaric Chamber has just topped $60,000. Chamber Day itself is just two days away – on Wednesday, May 6th, beginning with two dives at Catalina, plus a walking tour of the Chamber facilities at the Isthmus.
Fundraising for the event has been given a boost recently, in a way that Chamber Day Chairman Ken Kurtis describes as “bittersweet”.
The first Chamber Day attracted about 200 divers and netted around $15,000 for our Chamber. Over the years the event has grown to over 1,000 participants by adding Chamber Eve, the Flying Dutchman, and the Chamber Challenge. And last year we raised just under $100,000 for our Chamber. We are justifiably considered the largest single-day scuba charity event in the United States and perhaps even the world. It is important to know that all monies raised go to the Chamber. No administrative fees are deducted from the proceeds, many of the local SoCal boats donate their time and services, the manufacturers donate gear for raffle prizes, the Aquarium of the Pacific donates their facility for Chamber Eve, hundreds of volunteers donate their time, and you (hopefully) donate your money.
Here’s what’s happening:
- The main event is Chamber Day, which includes two dives at Catalina, plus a walking tour of the Chamber facilities at the Isthmus. Costs for the event have been going up each year and this year we’ve finally had to give in to economic reality and raise the event prices to deal with this. Chamber Day is now $110 (plus $30 for food and airfills, which goes to the boat) which gets you the diving, the tour, a T-shirt, and 5 daytime raffle tickets.
- If you can’t take the day off but would still like to participate, we have the Flying Dutchman—a mythical boat, yes, but a big part of Chamber Day and the perfect option for those who can’t attend in person. “Diving” the Dutchman gets you 5 daytime raffle tickets and a special limited-edition T-shirt available only to folks who sign up for the Dutchman. And we’re holding the Dutchman price at $95.
- There’s also the Chamber Challenge, which “challenges” our community to raise extra funds for our Chamber through direct donations (mostly $100 pledges, but also $500 and $1,000, and even $5,000 and $10,000). You donate, and then—we hope—you challenge your friends to match your generosity.
- Raffle tickets, anyone? Daytime raffle tickets are the way to go—because you don’t need to be present to win. Tickets are $1 each, with discounts when you buy more.
- Chamber Evening, co-sponsored by the Aquarium of the Pacific, wraps things up. You’ll have full access to the Aquarium, a sit-down dinner in the Great Hall (under the life-sized model of a blue whale), hear a few speeches—we try to keep them short—maybe win a raffle prize, and finally, cheer during the presentation of the Chamber Day check to Karl Huggins, Director of the Chamber. As with Chamber Day, our costs have gone up for Chamber Evening so that price will also be $110 per ticket.
For more information about these can’t-miss events, explore this web site. You can sign up here using our secure server, or you can call Chamber Day HQ at 310-652-4990. Mark your calendar for Wednesday, May 6 and Chamber Day & Eve 2015.