Santa Monica Travel & Tourism has news to share that is, like, totally rad! On Saturday, July 27, Santa MoniCARES held its first annual fundraiser in the form of an 80’s themed prom at the Santa Monica Bay Club. Throughout the evening, neon, shoulder pads and big hair were on full display as guests gathered to dance the night away to classic hits in support of local charities, raising more than $7,000.

The event marked the first major fundraiser for Santa MoniCARES, a coalition of representatives from Santa Monica Travel & Tourism and industry partners with a mission of harnessing the hospitable nature of the tourism industry to provide support to our local non-profit agencies. The organization engages employees of hotels, restaurants, attractions, retailers and more to provide volunteer hours, funding and in-kind support to the incredible organizations that are tackling important issues in our community.

We all know that monetary donations can make the biggest impact and Santa MoniCARES provides a simplified route between tourism serving businesses and local charities. Funds raised at this inaugural event will go to local nonprofit organizations that work to solve pressing issues in Santa Monica such as homelessness, workforce development, education support and elderly assistance.

Santa Monica’s hospitality industry also recently raised more than $1200 for Santa MoniCARES in June when the Meeting Planners International Southern California Chapter held its annual awards and installation gala at Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows. Santa Monica Travel & Tourism, along with destination partners, sponsored the after party with proceeds going to Santa MoniCARES. Pacific Park, Aqua Surf School, Casa del Mar Hotel, Le Méridien Delfina, Proper Hotel Santa Monica, Shutter on the Beach Hotel and The Georgian all participated.

Want to support? You can donate through the Santa MoniCARES text to give number – 424-276-7272.

It’s no secret that tourism is a key component of a sustainable economy in Santa Monica. This vital industry supports 12,600 local jobs that cannot be exported. Additionally, $58.6 million is injected into the city’s general fund through the Transient Occupancy Tax. Our schools, parks, libraries, police and fire are all supported by revenue from tourism.

Santa MoniCARES will continue to serve as a conduit between the tourism industry and wider community, supporting everyone’s efforts and enhancing the great work already being done by our community partners and other non-profits. It takes a village and we need to work together.

Santa MoniCARES is spearheaded by a Board of Directors comprised of Chairman Ellis O’Connor, Vice Chair Julia Ladd, and Secretary/Treasurer Raphael LunettaFor more details on the work being done or to get involved, visit santamonicares.com or emailcares@santamonica.com

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