Chamber Day/Evening Raises $115,000 for Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber

Despite sea conditions that looked ominous the day before (and actually prompted six boats to cancel, the new date for those boats and their 112 divers is tentatively scheduled for June 3). Chamber Day & Eve 2009 came off without a hitch on Wednesday, May 6.

Although the ride over was a little bumpy, 115 divers enjoyed a day of sunshine and good diving at Catalina, and were also rewarded with a tour of the Chamber facilities at Big Fisherman’s Cove. The stop also included spending time with crews from Baywatch, LA County Sheriff’s ESD, and the US Coast Guard helicopter crew, to learn what each one does during a diving emergency.

Chamber Eve at the Aquarium of the Pacific was once again the sold-out social highlight of the Southern California diving year. 500 diners joined about four-dozen Aquarium and Chamber volunteers for a fabulous evening of socializing, exploring the Aquarium, and dining.

It was also at Chamber Eve that chairman Ken Kurtis and Chamber Director Karl Huggins learned about “Scuba Angel.” It seems that an instructor who was on one of the cancelled boats decided to use the newly-found time to catch up on a pool session with a private student. When the student found out why the instructor was available he said, “I guess they must be losing out on some revenue because of the boats that cancelled. Maybe I can help a bit.” And he wrote out and handed her a check for $5,000. He asked to remain anonymous and simply be listed as “Scuba Angel.”

With that check and all the other monies raised from the daytime boat diving, the raffle, merchandise sales, the evening dinner, the Flying Dutchman, and the Chamber Challenge, it was an appreciative crowd that cheered the final monies raised—$115,000. Especially given the state of the economy, this was a total that far exceeded even the most optimistic projections of the event organizers.

So Chamber Day 2009 goes down in the books as wildly successful. Mark your calendar for next year when it’ll happen once again as the next Chamber Day will be Wednesday, May 5, 2010.

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