Great Dive Trips at Bargain Prices with the Sea Divers

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Posted by Chamber Day 2014 Committee on March 01, 2014 at 16:53:23:

In the early 1970s, there was no such thing as the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber. But divers were having accidents and the need for a Chamber was very real. In 1974, Lockheed donated a chamber they had to USC, an arrangement was set up between USC and L.A. County to help fund it, and the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber was born, opening for business on October 5, 1974.

A scant 15 years later, in 1989, our Chamber faced the very real prospect of losing the vital L.A. County funding. Roger Hess, then owner of Charisma Charters, came up with the idea that all the dive boats should come together for a day of diving with all the proceeds being donated to our Chamber. And thus, Chamber Day was born.

Now in 2014, we are celebrating our Chamber's 40th year of unbending service to the Southern California diving community. While our Chamber still gets about 50% of its funding from the County, Chamber Day & Eve have become the major source of funds to keep our Chamber available to us 24/7/365. And that's why we hope you'll participate in Chamber Day & Eve 2014 on Wednesday, May 7.

The first Chamber Day attracted about 200 divers and netted around $15,000 for our Chamber. Over the years the event has grown to over 1,000 participants: added Chamber Eve, the Flying Dutchman, and the Chamber Challenge; and last year raised just over $125,000 for our Chamber. We are justifiably considered the largest single-day scuba charity event in the United States and perhaps even the world.

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 Chamber Eve, hundreds of volunteers donate their time, and you (hopefully) donate your money.

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 $95 (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 have done the island tour before and would rather get in a third dive, this year (for the first time) we have one boat (Magician) which will forgo the island tour for a third dive.

• If you can’t take the day off but would still like to participate, we 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 gets 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” our community to raise extra funds for our Chamber through direct donations (mostly $100 pledges, but also $500 and $1,000, and even $5,000 and $10,000). You donate, and then—we hope—you challenge your friends to match your generosity.

• Raffle tickets, anyone? 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 things up. You'll have full access to the Aquarium, a sit-down dinner in the Great Hall (under the life-sized model of a blue whale), hear a few speeches—we try to keep them short—maybe win a raffle prize, and finally, cheer during 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 there using our secure server, or you can Chamber Day HQ at 310-652-4990.

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, May 7 and Chamber Day & Eve 2014.

Ken Kurtis (Chairman, Chamber Day/Eve 2014)
Karl Huggins (Director, USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber)

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