Editor's note: This week's column was so long, we split it in two. Read the other half about our celebrity red carpet coverage of the Get Lucky for Lupus fundraiser.

Part art show, part product launch, part celebration of an Oscar-nominated movie, Sanük’s Gathering for the Environment brought eco-minded celebs and others together to raise awareness for sea life protection. Neil Shigley’s artwork decorated the walls of the Celebrity Vault and was for sale to benefit Surfers for Cetaceans. Sanük’s new RASTA (Recycled and Sustainable Trade Alliance) footwear line of vegan shoes made from sustainable hemp, latex, cork, jute and recycled tire occupied a central display. The event also honored Best Documentary nominee The Cove, in which Australian surfer and Surfers for Cetaceans founder Dave ‘Rasta’ Rastovich appears. He hoped the film wins an Oscar on March 7. “That will assist in blowing the whistle on the issue,” dolphin slaughter in Japan.

Rastovich met with director Louie Psihoyos and his team at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission, which led to collaboration in getting a group of surfers and celebrity activists into and out of the titular Japanese cove, which would be documented in the movie. Since its release, there have been tangible results, Rastovich reports, “and more exposure for the film and the issue will only continue that.”

Some of the proceeds from the RASTA shoe line will go to Surfers for Cetaceans, which aims to protect whales, dolphins and seals and combat ocean pollution through education and exposés. “We’re the ones that get sick when the water’s dirty and see the animals wash up on the beach and the ones who love the ocean,” reminds Rastovich. “The industries that take from the ocean can’t possibly love it. We should be giving back more than we receive.”

Rebecca Mader (Charlotte Lewis on Lost) hadn’t yet seen The Cove, but was shaken by its co-nominee Food, Inc. In Hawaii to shoot an episode of Lost, “I had just ordered chicken from room service and I couldn’t eat it,” she confides, noting that the movie “really changed the way I look at food. With corn syrup being in everything, I’m starting to look at packages and trying to eat more basic, real food. I was never really a big meat eater and since seeing Food, Inc. I haven’t eaten out very much at all. And if I have it’s been in organic restaurants.”

Having just wrapped Mother’s Little Helpers, a dark independent comedy with Jim Belushi, Kathryn Morris and Denise Richards, Mader was elated to get to go back for a final-season episode of Lost, which she squeezed in between movie roles. “I’m still close with people on the show. And Hawaii has a calming effect — the minute I get off the plane, with the smell and the breeze and the warm air, my shoulders drop and I accidentally have a Mai Tai in my hand,” she says. She snagged some souvenirs while there. “I took some of Charlotte’s clothes,” she reveals. “I have her jeans, her little green coat.”

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MNN homepage photo: The Cove