Once again, it’s the time of the year when we as a diving community band together for the benefit of our Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber. That’s right—Chamber Day 2012 is upon us. The date this year is Wednesday, May 2. (In case you’re a new diver or just not familiar with it, Chamber Day is a fund-raiser for our Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber, and it is the largest single-day scuba charity event in the United States.)
Our Catalina Chamber is the ONLY hyperbaric chamber in SoCal dedicated solely to the treatment of diving accidents, on a 24/7/366 basis. (Since 2012 is a Leap Year, we’re open on February 29 at no additional charge.) Although we all hope we’ll never need it, having our Chamber available provides divers with a vital safety net when something goes wrong. And while the Chamber has some other sources of income, Chamber Day provides a significant portion—close to 50%—of the Chamber’s annual budget.
It’s important to know that all monies raised go to the Chamber. No administrative fees are deducted from the proceeds, the local SoCal boats donate their time and services, the manufacturers donate gear for raffle prizes, the Aquarium of the Pacific donates their facility for the evening event, hundreds of volunteers donate their time, and you (hopefully) donate your money. Last year we raised $117,123, and we hope —especially as the economy continues to struggle—that we can meet or beat last year’s number. And we should also point out that, for the fourth year in a row, prices for the events have not increased, with both Chamber Day and Chamber Evening once again priced at $90.
Here’s what’s happening:
· The main event is Chamber Day, which includes a full day of diving (two dives) at Catalina, plus a walking tour of the Chamber at the Isthmus. Cost is $90 (plus $30 for food and airfills, which goes to the boat). This gets you the diving, the tour, a T-shirt, and 5 daytime raffle tickets.
· For those who can’t take the day off but would still like to participate, we again have the Flying Dutchman—a mythical boat, yes, but a big part of Chamber Day and the perfect option for those who can’t attend in person. “Diving” the Dutchman will get you 5 daytime raffle tickets and a special limited-edition T-shirt available only to folks who sign up for the Dutchman.
· There’s also the Chamber Challenge, which “challenges” the diving community to raise extra funds for our Chamber through direct donations (mostly $100 pledges, but also $500 and $1,000, and even $5,000 & $10,000). You donate, and then—we hope—you challenge your friends to match your generosity.
· Raffle tickets, anyone? Whether you’re going on a boat or just looking for a chance to win some fabulous prizes, daytime raffle tickets are the way to go—because you don’t need to be present to win. Tickets are $1 each, with discounts when you buy more.
· Chamber Evening, co-sponsored by the Aquarium of the Pacific, wraps up the day. The event features full access to the Aquarium, a sit-down dinner in the Great Hall (under the life-sized model of a Blue Whale), a few speeches—we try to keep them short— a raffle, and finally, the presentation of the Chamber Day check to Karl Huggins, Director of the Chamber.
For more information about these can’t-miss events, visit our web site at www.chamberday.org. You can sign up on the site using our secure server, or you can give us a call at 310-652-4990.
No matter how you get involved, we really hope you’ll be a part of Chamber Day and Chamber Evening this year.
Ken Kurtis (Chairman, Chamber Day/Eve 2012)
& Karl Huggins (Director, USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber)