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Posted by Chamber Day 2020 on March 04, 2020 at 13:37:34:


Diving is an amazingly safe sport . . . until it isn't. But we're all human and things happen. In fact, a study has shown that 69% of diving accidents are caused by diver error. So the last thing you want to hear is, "Sorry, there's no chamber in the area so there’s nothing we can do for you." Fortunately, that's NOT the case here in SoCal. Since 1974, divers have relied on the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber to bail us out when things go wrong. And once again, our Chamber is counting on you.

2020 marks our Chamber's 46th year of unbending service to the Southern California diving community. While our Chamber still gets about half of its funding from L.A. County, Chamber Day & Eve are still the major source of funds to keep our Chamber available to us 24/7/365. And that's why we need you to participate in Chamber Day & Eve 2020 on Wednesday, May 6.

This is our 32nd annual Chamber Day event. The first one in 1989 attracted about 200 divers and netted about $15,000 for our Chamber. Over the years the event has grown to over 1,000 participants by adding Chamber Eve, the Flying Dutchman, and the Chamber Challenge. Last year we raised almost $122,000 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 participating 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 (we still have to pay for the food), 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 two dives at Catalina plus a walking tour of the Chamber facilities at the Isthmus. A ticket on one of the participating boats for Chamber Day is still only $110 (plus $30 for food and airfills for the boat). You get the diving, the tour (for those who have done the tour before, there will be some non-tour options as well), five day time raffle tickets, and a chance to chat with (and thank) first responders from Coast Guard, L.A. County Sheriffs, Baywatch, and others.

• 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 five daytime raffle tickets plus a special limited-edition T-shirt available only to folks who sign up for the Dutchman. And we're holding the Dutchman price at $95.

• 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, $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 a great way to go because you don’t need to be present to win. Tickets are $1 each, with discounts when you buy more. You can get them before the event or on the island during your tour Raffle tickets will NOT be sold on the boats).

• Again this year, when you dive any of our participating boats in April, you’ll get additional five FREE raffle tickets.

• Chamber Evening, co-sponsored by the Aquarium of the Pacific, wraps things up for the day. Chamber Evening tickets are again $120 each, and that includes five evening general raffle tickets and one Grand Prize raffle ticket, which this year is again a fabulous week of diving in Yap with our good friends at Manta Ray Bay.

• When you purchase your Chamber Eve ticket, we will also ask you to specify if you want the regular meal (chicken) or the vegetarian/vegan meal. FYI, all the meals are gluten-free (except for the rolls).

• Do you want early access to the Aquarium, a private lounge area, a Chamber Eve t-shirt, two extra grand prize (Yap trip) tickets, and free parking? Then sign up for our V.G.D. (Very Generous Diver) Package. This is limited to the first 150 people. For an extra $75 you get that plus a private cash bar, private outside lounge/deck area with seating (available to you all evening until 10:45PM), access to the Moon Jellies exhibit, five extra general raffle tickets, early access (5PM) to selected areas and exhibits inside the Aquarium, and a special Major Prize drawing available ONLY to those holding VGD tickets.

• For everyone else, the doors open at 7PM. You can explore the Aquarium (as well as the raffle prize and merchandise tables) from 7-8:15PM, dinner is from 8:15-9:15PM, and our program (acknowledgements, short speeches, raffle prizes) is from 9:15-10:15PM.

• Our raffle structure will be the same as last year. The regular general raffle features a "targeted" raffle with a three special bins for three of our prizes, plus a separate bin for prizes #4-20. You choose where you want to deposit your raffle tickets. Split them up equally, put more in one bin than another, or however you want. For each of the targeted prizes, the name drawn gets that prize. For #4-20, it'll be Pick-A-Prize as we've done in the past, from what's still available on the prize list. There will also be a Blind Bid opportunity, which is a Dive Immersion for 2, in the Tropical Reef exhibit at the Aquarium of the Pacific and donated by the Aquarium Dive Office.

• The Grand Prize - a fabulous weeklong trip to dive Yap with the Manta Man himself, Bill Acker, and Manta Ray Bay & Yap Divers - is again a separate ticket from the general raffle. When you get your Chamber Eve ticket, you'll also receive one Grand Prize raffle ticket. Unless you also purchase the VGD package, this will be the only Grand Prize ticket you'll get. Make you sure you deposit your tickets in the Grand Prize bin at the raffle table.

• The grand finale is the presentation of the overall proceeds check to Chamber Director Karl Huggins, and the drawing of one lucky person who will win the Yap trip.

For more information about these can’t-miss events, check us out (new this year) on Instagram: @usc_hyperbaric_chamber. Or you can 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 6 and Chamber Day & Eve 2020.

Ken Kurtis (Chairman, Chamber Day/Eve 2020)
Karl Huggins (Director, USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber)

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