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Amanda Friedman | Photo: Jen Siska | October 23, 2013
Atlanta environmentalists join with West Coast advocates for one incredible night.
As the daughter of legendary media mogul Ted Turner, Laura Turner Seydel has been a tireless crusader of environmental causes for nearly her entire life. Her father famously co-created the Captain Planet television series and subsequently launched the Captain Planet Foundation, committed to educating youth about protecting the Earth. Now in its 22nd year, the organization is spearheaded by Laura and her husband, Rutherford, out of Atlanta. Consummate entertainers, the Seydels are well known in the city for their numerous fundraising events. However, it was only through an incredible case of the stars aligning that they ended up across the country in Marin County, Calif., at the beautiful home of Kiki Goshay, for a truly unforgettable night.
Like Laura, Goshay has long been a steward for the environment and is on the board of Cool the Earth, a Marin- based organization that teaches children about climate change. She also happens to live in a stunning LEED Gold-certified house, which she built in a breathtaking spot overlooking Mount Tamalpais in the Kentfield hills.
Constructed from recycled materials, the 5,800-square-foot residence features solar-powered electricity, sustainably made furniture, a glorious rooftop garden covered in indigenous plants, as well as a spectacular infinity pool and jaw-dropping views. It is an ideal setting for an intimate soiree.
Laura and Goshay were introduced by their mutual friend, Marin County realtor Susan Van Liere, and the three women decided to join forces to host Awakening Future Generations: An Elegant Farm to Table Dinner. The proceeds would benefit both of their organizations and connect the Atlanta and Bay Area communities in one unprecedented event. Furthermore, the evening would honor two unparalleled individuals: Marin-based Rep. Jared Huffman, celebrated for his environmental advocacy, and Alice Waters, the iconic Berkeley chef who pioneered sustainable cooking at Chez Panisse and founded the Edible Schoolyard Project. “I met Laura and realized that there were a lot of values that we shared,” Waters said. “I am just so delighted to be here.”
This collaborative sentiment could be felt throughout the night, as 130 guests from both areas—including Atlantans Elizabeth DuPree Lynch, Sona Chambers, Kwanza Hall, Daron Joffe and Clea and Marcus Calloway—came together to celebrate their commitment to the Earth. “So many of our friends have come all the way from the other coast,” said Goshay, who looked stunning in Roberto Cavalli. “It’s been so exciting to have Laura and everyone join us because we’re doing the same things on opposite sides of the country.” Laura was equally enthused. “Kiki is amazing,” she explained. “She has just given everything to be the most incredible host.” As the sun set over the hillside, partygoers mingled over cocktails and locally sourced hors d’oeuvres, such as cheese from Cowgirl Creamery and oysters pulled that morning from Drakes Bay. But the real magic happened after dark, when guests filtered into the backyard to find long, Tuscan-style dining tables under twinkling fairy lights. Prepared by S.F. chef Tommy Halvorson, the spectacular feast featured seasonal dishes like heirloom watermelon and tomato salad, grilled king trumpet mushroom conserva and deliciously tender bison short ribs from Great Range, the purveyor of Turner’s own bison farm.
Adding to the wonder of the night was Waters’ friend, renowned singer Jackson Browne, who performed a stirring three-song set. As the evening came to a close, Laura led the crowd in a rousing toast—and everyone rose to their feet and congratulated each other on the event’s spectacular bicoastal success.