When you are the Chief Development Officer of a non-profit organization, you are always looking for special ways to bring the mission of your organization to life and inspire support from a diverse community of individuals. Five months ago, our team had the wild and wonderful idea to charter a boat and bring hundreds of Bay supporters out on the water – together with Save The Bay experts – to experience the Bay’s majesty up close. On Saturday, April 22nd (Earth Day!) our vision came to life. Blue, an inaugural Bay cruise to benefit Save The Bay, was an extraordinary event that brought together individuals of all ages and backgrounds, uniting them in their love and appreciation for the Bay. Don’t just take my word for it: check out the beautiful photos of the evening captured by Bay photographer Mike Oria for a taste of the immersive experience had by all who attended. Our Blue guests came from all over the Bay Area. There are many reasons why local residents care about San Francisco Bay, and whether we realize it or not, the Bay is a part of all of our lives, every day. For scientists, like the Chair of Save The Bay’s Board of Directors Dr. Sam Luoma, the Bay is a wild ecosystem that is teeming with plant and animal life. It’s a place of fragility and beauty that needs protecting for future generations. Some of our guests care about San Francisco Bay because they are responsible for conceiving of and implementing the policy framework that supports a resilient Bay. Thank you to Supervisor Dave Pine, Chair of the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, for joining us at Blue and representing elected officials who work vigilantly to uphold pro-Bay policies and legislation. For gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts, like Mary Hufty and Karen Gilhuly from the Garden Clubs of America, the Bay shoreline is where they tune out the pressures of daily life by partnering with Save The Bay to plant native plants and clean up trash. Blue was a chance to celebrate their love of the place they dedicate so much time to restoring. For the Bay Area business community, the Bay serves as a stunning backdrop for world class companies, and we were delighted to welcome guests from Facebook, Salesforce, and eBay to name a few. For sports fans, the Bay provides the nation’s best backdrop during a hometown San Francisco Giants baseball game. I am so grateful to the Giants for sponsoring Blue, just one of many ways they contribute to improving local Bay Area communities. OR, maybe you’re like me – drawn to this magnificent estuary for reasons you can’t quite explain but you know are innate and powerful. Many studies suggest that spending time by water has positive effects on health and well-being (and who couldn’t use a little stress relief these days?). Whatever your motivation is for getting involved with Save The Bay, I am truly grateful to the community of individuals who joined us at our very first Blue event. Our sell-out crowd was a stirring tribute to San Francisco Bay: our greatest natural treasure and the heart of what makes our region so special. Thank you to our supporters for making the inaugural Blue event a tremendous success. See you next year!