Pro skateboarder Tony Hawk to be honored at Natural High gala Sept. 12 in Carlsbad

The annual Natural High Gala, celebrating the national movement of youth saying yes to life and resisting drugs and alcohol, will be held Sept. 12 at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad.

With a goal to raise $400,000 for the 2015-16 school year, the event will raise the funds needed to ensure Natural High’s 20,000 education partners continue receiving this life-changing program completely free of charge.

The evening will include special performances, live and silent auctions and a program showcasing the impact of Natural High’s life-changing mission on 13- to 17-year-olds over more than two decades.

Pro skateboarder and 15-year Natural High celebrity ambassador Tony Hawk will receive the 2015 Gamechanger Award recognizing him for his dedication to empowering youth. Local rising star Cody Lovaas will help honor Hawk, recognizing him and other role models who have changed the drug prevention landscape and inspired youth like Lovaas to say yes to their natural highs.

“We know that youth are profoundly influenced by their peers and role models,” said Jon Sundt, founder of Natural High. “By sharing the stories of celebrity ambassadors like Tony Hawk and Cody Lovaas, who tell the truth about drugs and alcohol, we’re introducing the opposite of what they typically see in the media. We’re changing social norms across the country.”

On any given day, 20,000 13-year-olds in the U.S. will try drugs or alcohol for the first time. Peer pressures can be overwhelming, and that’s why nonprofits like Natural High exist — to inspire youth to discover, amplify and pursue what they love to do. Research shows that young people who find natural highs or “sparks” engage in fewer risk-taking behaviors.

Tickets for the cocktail reception, silent auction and dinner are $250 per person. Guests can buy VIP tickets for $350, or reserve a table of eight for $1,800 and $2,600 respectively. To buy tickets or make a gift, visit naturalhigh.org/gala.

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