By Vic Gerami

Rachelle Carson-Begley and Ed Begley Jr.

Celebrities and elected officials adorned the green carpet of Turtyle paper straw company’s grand opening Thursday night, at Nickelodeon Studio.

Actress Rachelle Carson-Begley, Charlene Tilton, Patrika Darbo, Kat Kramer, Elizabeth Small, Lexy Kolker, Ava Kolker, Jillian Estell and actors Miles Tagtmeyer, Nicholas Guest, and Craig Young were few of the stars who attended the soiree, honoring actor Ed Begley Jr. with Turtyle’s ‘Pinnacle Award’ for his environmental activism.

Also, on hand from Texas, was marine conservation biologist, Christine Figgener. Figgener received international acclaim and started a movement when a viral video she filmed and uploaded in 2015, documenting the removal of a plastic straw from an olive ridley turtle’s nose. The video was the inspiration for Turtyle.

150 guests included elected officials, celebrities, dignitaries, business and community leaders from various non-profit environment focused organizations.

Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy

Elected officials and dignitaries on hand were the city of Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy,
Vice Mayor Sharon Springer, Councilmember Bob Frutos, Assistant City Manager Chenin Dow, Vickere Murphy Representing Senator Anthony J. Portantino, LA County Assessor Jeffrey Prang, Jason Maruca Representing Supervisor Kathryn Barger, LA Department of Disability Executive Director Stephen Simon, LA 5th District Councilmember Paul Koretz, 43 District Assembly Member Laura Friedman, City of Lancaster Councilmember Angela Underwood-Jacobs, LA Area Chamber of Commerce Chief of Staff Brian Barry and Lancaster Chamber of Commerce CEO Mark Hemstreet.

Mayor Gabel-Luddy, Councilmember Underwood-Jacobs, Councilmember Koretz, Assessor Prang, and Assemblymember Friedman gave speeches praising Turtyle’s environmentally conscious paper straws, as well as Ed Begley Jr. and Christine’s Figgener for their significant contribution to the green movement.

“It feels surreal that my video has had such an impact, inspiring so many people to do better and find solutions for our plastic crisis, such as Turtyle’s paper straws. I am incredibly honored to have been invited to Turtyle’s grand opening” said Figgener.

Christine Feggener

Begley Jr. said, “I’m so honored to be part of the wonderful work that Turtyle is doing to reduce the scourge of single-use plastic. Most of us have seen the devastating video of the sea turtle with a plastic straw lodged in its nose but weren’t sure how to help.”

He added, “Thanks to Turtyle, we now have a choice…. paper straws. And they’re made in the US… another reason to like them!”

To complement the chef’s hors d’oeuvres and canapés, several cocktails and specialty drinks will be served so the guests can try various types of Turtyle paper straws. To mark the occasion of Turtyle’s grand opening and to salute Mr. Begley and Nickelodeon Studio, there were three signature cocktails, ‘Tipsy Turtyle’, ‘The Begley’ and ‘Nick.’ Award-winning comedian, Paul Green, emceed the event with live entertainment by music sensation, singer & songwriter Reina Mora.

Turtyle Inc. the first paper straw company with products made in the USA and with materials also made in the USA, is headquartered in Burbank, CA. Turtyle was launched after one of its founders watched Figgener’s viral YouTube video.

“At Turtyle, we hold the highest standards in paper straw manufacturing as well as environmental safety. For our premiere event, we wanted to honor the single most exemplary individual who has been a champion for the environment, Ed Begley Jr.” said Gagik Panosyan, one of the founders of Turtyle. He added, “Mr. Begley embodies green and eco-friendly living, values we take very seriously at Turtyle.

Vic Gerami presenting Turtyle’s ‘Pinnacle Award’ to Ed Begley Jr.

“Turtyle’s grand opening could not have been more perfect. It was apropos to launch an exceptional product that helps the environment as well as being the next-generation paper straw that is stronger and lasts longer, with a big celebration at the beautiful Nickelodeon Studio. To have so many elected officials, dignitaries, celebrities, business and community leaders join us, and honor two exceptional individuals was very gratifying,” said Vic Gerami, spokesperson for Turtyle.

Turtyle presented a check for $1,000 to Mr. Begley’s philanthropic organization, the Begley Family Foundation. The primary purpose of the Foundation is to promote environmental awareness and environmental justice through education in the arts.


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