Celebrities and professional surfers carved up Ocean Park Beach Sunday, April 5 for the first “Project Save Our Surf” Surfathon and Celebrity Gala/Auction, bringing back some of that dogtown vibe to the local shores again.
Santa Monica resident and actress Tanna Frederick and professional surfer Shaun Tomson hosted the event with all proceeds going to OCEANA, an organization that works to conserve all five of the world’s oceans. Frederick explained that she has been going to OCEANA events for the past five years and was really amazed at what they were doing. “OCEANA does a lot of wonderful things globally for the ocean”, said Frederick.
Frederick who is an avid surfer and frequents Ocean Park Beach for her surf sessions pointed out problems that often occur in the Santa Monica/Venice waters when it comes to quality and condition.
“I surf out here and so much of the time I can’t surf because of water conditions”, explained Frederick, “It’s sad when it rains; there is trash all over the beach, the water is dirty, and kids are getting sick”.
The Surfathon was created to bring those together who love surfing, love the beach, and also to make people aware of the current state of our oceans. The day consisted not only of surfing, but musical performances, Tae Kwon Do demonstrations, environmental speakers, and beautiful weather.
When Frederick approached and asked Co-host Shaun Tomson to participate in this benefit for OCEANA he immediately agreed.
“It’s great when someone through sheer force of will and good nature wants to help [the oceans]. Sure. Count me in”, said Tomson.
Soon enough world famous surfers and celebs were involved like Rob Machado, World Champion Peter “PT” Townsend, and Baywatch’s David Chokachi.
Nancy Christiano, development manager of OCEANA, said that she was thrilled when Tanna called her about setting up the Surfathon and Gala/Auction. Christiano said it was great to see all these pro surfers come from all over the world, all these people from around town, come to the beach and celebrate the ocean, recognize the problems it faces, and try and help however they can.
After the Surfathon there was a Celebrity Gala/Auction held at Shutters on the Beach which included a special celebrity “blue” carpet to represent the ocean. Some of the items for auction included: vacation to Tarranea Resort, a day surfing with Rob Machado, guitar signed by Brandon Boyd, the lead vocalist and songwriter of the alternative rock band Incubus, and much more. During the Gala, pro surfer Rob Machado received the Project Save Our Surf Award for his dedication to preserving and being active for the oceans in Southern California. Celebrities like Noah Wyle, David Proval, and Jeff Garlin were among the many who attended.
All in all the Surfathon and Celebrity Gala/Auction raised $40,000 for OCEANA. When the Mirror asked Tanna if we will see Project SOS next year, Fredrick responded, “ I hope this is the first of many”.