By Jennifer Arrowsmith, Qualcomm Incorporated Senior Manager of Sustainability and Ocean Connectors Advisory Board Member
Sailing San Diego Bay and simultaneously watching the sun set over the Pacific and the harvest moon rise over the downtown skyline, while supporting one of my favorite organizations, Ocean Connectors, was never on my bucket list. I didn’t realize it was even possible to accomplish all these things at once. But on October 5th, I quickly added and crossed this off my list when I attended the Ocean Connectors 10 Year Anniversary Cruise aboard the beautiful California Princess, owned and hosted by Flagship Cruises & Events.
Joined by approximately 90 other guests, I spent the evening bidding on silent auction items, hobnobbing with new and old friends, and simply celebrating all the amazing accomplishments that Frances and her team have achieved over the past decade – such as teaching nearly 20,000 students in both San Diego and Mexico, across multiple grade levels, about environmental science. This and other key achievements were highlighted during a brief program that included an informational video (check out the video here – it’s always inspiring to see Ocean Connectors in action!) and heartfelt speeches by several Advisory Board members. One of the National City schoolteachers, Mr. Jonathan Isaacs, also spoke about the many positive impacts Ocean Connectors has had on his students over the years.
Port of San Diego Chairman, Robert “Dukie” Valderrama, was honored with the inaugural Ocean Connectors Leadership Award for his many years of hard work and dedication to South Bay communities, demonstrating how collaboration and resiliency can lead to positive change. By the time the ship docked, over $10,000 was raised for the new Ocean Connectors Shark Investigation Unit for middle school, which will kick-off this coming January. A very successful and fun evening indeed!
For the past year, I have had the pleasure of serving as Chair of the Ocean Connectors Advisory Board. During my term, I was reminded that we have an incredible group of dedicated and talented people involved with this organization. Planning for the anniversary party required ‘all hands-on-deck’ (no pun intended). My fellow Advisory Board members solicited in-kind donations for the silent auction and raffle and designed party invitations and signage, in addition to countless other vital tasks.
While I ended my term as Chair in September, I will continue to serve as an Advisory Board member and will happily continue to support the Ocean Connectors mission, staff, and programs in the upcoming decade and beyond. If you are seeking new and unimagined bucket list items, I encourage you to join me at these upcoming events:
Finding ‘Namaste’ at Modo Yoga’s Karma Class on Wednesday nights throughout November and December, where all proceeds will directly benefit Ocean Connectors.
Walking or running a 5k to support Ocean Connectors at the EveryWon race on December 10th.
You will have the opportunity to experience something new while giving back to support a wonderful cause at what will – no doubt – be an exciting activity. See you there!