Stars Come Out for Dolphins
By Ric O’Barry
Saturday night was an incredible night for the Dolphin Project. Animal rights activist James Costa hosted a benefit for us at his beautiful home in Los Angeles. The place was packed. We can’t thank James enough. It was a perfect night and helped raise significant funds for our ongoing work.
Folks came from as far away as Spain, Arizona, New York, Mexico, Hawaii, Florida and North Carolina. And of course there was a big turnout by the Hollywood crowd.
Those in attendance included: Sophia Bush, Jillian Michaels, Michele Rodriguez, Maggie Grace, Ed Begley Jr., Q’orianka Kilcher, Leilani Münter, Joanna Cassidy, Eric Balfour, Lina Esco, Lasse Larsen, Abigail Spencer, Ashley Scott & Steve Hart. Mia Maestro kept the place hopping with her band!
My good friend Deborah Basset, who has been a tremendous champion for whales and dolphins, produced the event. She proved she is equally as fantastic as an event planner.
Ric with Maggie Grace, Mia Maestro, and Abigail Spencer.
Lincoln O’Barry, Sophia Bush, our host James Costa, and Ed Begley Jr.
Lincoln O’Barry with Jillian Michaels and our EcoJoia Bag.
Michelle Rodriquez spins some tunes for the crowd.
My son Lincoln was there and brought many new celeb supporters to the cause. I’m so proud of his efforts to keep the issue front and center with a new generation of activists.
Fonda Berosini, whom I’ve known since she was a little girl in the neighborhood, pulled together a lot of our media organizing and helped get the word out about the event.
Ry and Julia Hawley came all the way from Colorado to sell new Dolphin Project t-shirts and hoodies to participants via EcoJoia, their company that supports our cause through their sales.
Special thanks to environmentalist Ady Gil for funding all our AV and sound equipment for the event. He always comes through for the dolphins – and all animals!
We made sure everyone at the party was aware of the current status of events in Taiji, the need for ongoing support, and the attention that needs to be paid to places like the Solomon Islands, Indonesia, and China, where captive dolphins are a valuable commodity.
We have a lot of work to do, and nights like this, which bring in much needed funds, help make it all possible.
Here’s a link to more photos on Wire Image:
- Happy 47th Birthday Dolphin Project! - April 18, 2017
- BREAKING: Taiji’s Drive Season Over - February 28, 2017
- 2016: What A Year It Was! - December 15, 2016
- Dolphin Sabbatical Project: A Social Experiment for Captive Dolphins - June 17, 2016
- Statement on Morgan by Ric O’Barry - June 9, 2016
- Op Ed: Is it Okay to Go Back to SeaWorld? - March 31, 2016
- Addressing the Confusion about Angel - March 26, 2016
- Exclusive: Message from Ric O’Barry - February 8, 2016
- What Will 2016 Hold For Dolphins? - December 15, 2015
- The Finland Four - November 28, 2015
Ric O’Barry, Dolphin Project Founder & Director has worked on both sides of the captive dolphin issue, making him an invaluable asset in the efforts to end exploitation. He worked for 10 years within the dolphin captivity industry, and has spent the past 40 working against it.
In the 1960s, O’Barry was employed by the Miami Seaquarium, where he captured and trained dolphins, including the five dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV-series of the same name. He also trained Hugo, the first orca kept in captivity east of the Mississippi. When Kathy, the dolphin who played Flipper most of the time, died in his arms, O’Barry realized that capturing dolphins and training them to perform silly tricks is simply wrong.
From that moment on, O’Barry knew what he must do with his life. On the first Earth Day, 1970, he launched a searing campaign against the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry and has been going at it ever since.
Over the past 40 years, Ric O’Barry has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins in many countries around the world, including Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, the Bahamas Islands and the United States. He is a leading voice in the fight to end brutal dolphin hunts in Japan, the Solomon Islands, the Faroe Islands, and wherever else they occur.
O’Barry has been recognized by many national and international entities for his dedicated efforts, such as being voted Huffington Post’s 2010 Most Influential Green Game Changer, and being listed on O Magazine’s 2010 Power List – Men We Admire for his “Power of Passion.” O’Barry received an Environmental Achievement Award, presented by the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program. He has done countless interviews with such prestigious news programs as Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, the Mike Huckabee Show, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
His book Behind the Dolphin Smile was published in 1989; a second book, To Free A Dolphin was published in September 2000. Both of them are about his work and dedication. He is the star of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove and the Animal Planet television series Blood Dolphin$.