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After a two-year hiatus, on March 19, 2022, Raise the Reef returned, and raised record-breaking sums for Coral Restoration Foundation™.

Dressed in their finest, an ocean loving community gathered at Ocean Reef Club® to celebrate Coral Restoration Foundation™ and support their mission to restore Florida’s Coral Reef. The venue was buzzing with fresh, optimistic energy, with guests enjoying cocktails, a world-class three-course meal, and music by Key’s legend David Feder. And support they did –the evening raised more for our local non-profit than any previous Raise the Reef gala.

Coral Restoration Foundation™ CEO Scott Winters welcomed the community back with an impassioned keynote speech that rallied guests to dig deep. He said, “CRF exists to inspire hope, by SHOWING that anyone can make a difference in the world. We outplant corals as an example that small individual actions can add up to be a force of change. That each of us – no matter our background or circumstances – can change the world.”

Winters gave guests a powerful insight into the ways that their support will impact more than just our local coral reefs, explaining, “The next phase for coral restoration – and Coral Restoration Foundation™ – is to work diligently – with decision and energy – to be an ally and keep local and indigenous communities at the forefront of the discourse. CRF™ will do this by continuing to do what we do best – inspiring hope – combined with freely giving away the infrastructure so local communities can rebuild what is in their back yard. We will work to help close the funding gaps, by bridging capital, resources and people where needed. We will continue to rewrite the narrative, where success is no longer measured by how many corals were outplanted but by how resilient the local community is, how much money is brought into and stays in the local economy, and how the quality of life can be improved for future generations; by valuing local coral reefs.”

It was a message that resonated. The atmosphere for the live auction was electric with original paintings by Keys’ artists BJ Royster and Taylor Hale together raising $15,000, a stainless steel Oris Limited Edition Carysfort Reef raising $14,000 and one of the last available 14k gold Oris Limited Edition Carysfort Reef watches raising $50,000 for the cause. V.J. Geronimo, Oris CEO for North America, was in attendance. He said, “It was extremely rewarding to see both watches raise significant funds for CRF™. This was exactly the intention when we created them and to see that come to life in the live auction format was special. We are happy to have played a small part in the success of CRF™ over the last eight years.”

Supported by local businesses and artists, the silent auction also delivered, including pieces by celebrated photographer Stephen Frink and a CRF™ restoration adventure in the Philippines with Atlantis Dive Resorts & Liveaboards.

The evening was sponsored by Ocean Reef Club®, Ocean Reef Conservation Association, Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel and Resort, Tom Thumb Food Stores, American Spirits Exchange, The Dive Shop, and Havana Jacks Oceanside Restaurant and Bar.

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