The big top touring show KOOZA of Cirque du Soleil will perform at the opening night gala of the One Drop Foundation and Heal the Bay Friday, October 16th at the Santa Monica Pier to raise awareness about water issues.

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a board member of Santa Monica-based Heal the Bay, and Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin, a One Drop ambassador, will serve as event chairs for the gala. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Cirque du Soleil will premiere KOOZA October 16th under the big top in the parking lot north of the pier and continue with performances through December 20th.

“I am very proud to receive support from my friends in the Los Angeles area,” said Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté.

The One Drop Foundation is an initiative of Laliberté with the mission to fight poverty by providing access to water and raising awareness of water-related issues among people and communities.

“Heal the Bay is excited to welcome Cirque du Soleil on its return to the Pier,” said Louis-Dreyfus. “To have the organization give back so generously to our group and sustain the ongoing health of Santa Monica Bay is really remarkable.”

Laliberté added, “(Los Angeles) is where Cirque du Soleil met its first success outside Canada.

“Now 25 years after our beginning, I have a new dream; the dream of universal access to clean water and preserving this important resource. That is the dream of One Drop, and your contribution is bringing us one drop closer to the dream.”

A number of ticket options and sponsorship packages are available. VIP tickets, offering the full Tapis Rouge experience (prestige seat, five-star hospitality pavilion and access to the after-party VIP tent) are priced at $1,500. Tickets offering preferred seating and access to the after-party are $500 each. All benefit tickets are available at (310) 451-1500, ext.121. For information, www.healthebay.org/events/LaSoiree/.

A limited number of general admission tickets are available at $155.

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