Undeterred by last Saturday’s torrential downpour, scores of surfers hit the water last weekend along Santa Monica beach south of the pier for Make a Wave Project’s first ever 24-hour Surf-A-Thon fund-raiser. Surf participants raised money by asking people to sponsor their three-hour surfing shifts, and the surfing shifts covered the full 24 hours between noon Saturday and noon Sunday. A benefit dinner and auction were also held in Malibu on Sunday evening with over 150 people in attendance. All net proceeds raised by Make a Wave Project will go to OCEANA, an international organization with more than 300,000 members/e-activists in 150 different countries. OCEANA works to reduce pollution, prevent the collapse of fish populations, protect marine mammals, and otherwise safeguard the world’s oceans.
“148 surfers signed up,” noted Alex Winston, co-founder of Make a Wave Project. “So far we have raised over $75,000 for OCEANA, and we are very pleased with the results of our first ever fundraiser.”
Winston is the proprietor of the Hey Kookla Boutique on Montana Avenue just west of 14th Street. Her co-founder of Make a Wave Project is Tanna Frederick, an actress whose credits include a leading role in the 2006 indie movie Hollywood Dreams. Both Winston and Frederick are avid surfers.
What started as a simple fundraiser last Saturday became a sea and storm drama as rain and wind swept the beach on Saturday morning prior to the Surf-A-Thon’s noon launch. “We formed a drum circle under the canopies and tried chanting the rain away,” according to Winston. “Then just as we were scheduled to start, the rain stopped, the clouds broke, and the sun came out.” While the surfers were fundraising on 2-3 foot swells with good shape offshore, Make a Wave Project’s on-beach activities included screening of surf videos after dark, a performance by the R-Dance Company, and an information booth staffed by OCEANA volunteers.
Make a Wave Project’s Surf-A-Thon was made possible by a number of sponsors including major support from: ZJ Boarding House, Quiksilver, Val Surf, Rocker Board Shop, The Victorian, Crawford Media, Function Sports, IQ Webmail, Her Energy, and the local cable station LATV. Additional information about Make a Wave Project, and a link to OCEANA, is at makeawaveproject.org.