Robert August : photo The Epoch Times
12th Annual Luau & Longboard Invitational
Legends of Surfing Gather to Surf For A
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 25 August, 2005 : - - L
class=headline>A JOLLA, CA - An overcast San Diego day shined brightly with
aloha as the legends of surfing gathered at Scripps Pier on Sunday to surf for a
cure. The Annual Luau and Longboard Invitational,
now in its 12th year, has earned an international reputation for uniting legends
of surfing with the business, scientific and medical communities, as well as
enthusiastic locals, to help raise money for the fight against cancer.
I come to this event every year, said Robert August,
legendary surfer and surfboard artisan, perhaps best known for his role in the
classic 60s surf documentary, The Endless Summer. I adjust my entire schedule
around this event. Its a great thing to do and a lot of fun, too. August,
whose mother died from cancer just prior to the events inception, has been a
Its a fantastic cause, its a fun day and we get to
see everybody, said Linda Benson, who won more than 20 surfing titles between
1959 and 1968. Its a huge turnout because everyone comes to this event and
they come from a long way. We make the effort to do what we can to help this
really good cause.
align=left border=1> The days tradition began with the Longboard
Invitational surfing tournament where sponsored teams of five surfers, including
an assigned surfing legend, vied for traditional trophies. Competition and an
individuals surfing abilities, however, are only the superficial focus to
provide entertainment; compassionate participation and support for the cause are
the genuine emphasis.
There are about twenty different teams that sponsor the
event, said Dr. Mark Bracker, Professor in the Department of Family and
Preventative Medicine at UC San Diego and doctor on-call for the event. A lot
of San Diego companies take this very seriously and are behind the effort to
support caring for patients with cancer and doing fundamental research.
We benefit greatly from the participation of the
legends of surfing and the invaluable support of our title sponsors, Gen-Probe
and Silvergate Bank, said Dennis A. Carson, M.D. and Director of Moores UCSD
Cancer Center. Todays Luau and Longboard Invitational demonstrates the
collaboration and generosity that are hallmarks of this event.
Established in 1979, the UCSD Cancer Center is one of 38
National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive cancer centers in the United
States. Its mission includes translating promising scientific discoveries into
new and better options for prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Over the past 12 years, proceeds from the Luau and
Longboard Invitational have been used to fund the new home of the Rebecca and
John Moores UCSD Cancer Center. Medical services commenced this year at the new
270,000-square-foot-facility, located adjacent to Thornton Hospital on the east
campus of UC San Diego.
This Annual Luau and Longboard Invitational has
provided more than $1.3 million over the years to the Cancer Centers
leading-edge research programs, said Dr. Carson. This support has allowed us
to conduct the investigations that define the future of detection, treatment and
In 1998, the Rell Sunn Award was first presented at the
Luau and Longboard Invitational to honor the person or organization that best
displays the qualities of compassion, unselfishness, aloha spirit and dedication
in the fight against cancer.
align=left border=1> Often referred to as the Queen of Makaha, Sunn is
remembered as the quintessential water-woman. She excelled in all watersports,
including surfing, bodysurfing, spearfishing, and open-water outrigger canoeing.
Sunn was instrumental in establishing the Womens
Professional Surfing Association and founding the womens pro surfing tour, in
which she twice finished third overall. She was also a swimwear model, radio
personality, motivational speaker, and hula instructor. In addition, Sunn was
honored as Hawaiis first female lifeguard.
Despite all of her accomplishments, Sunn remained humble
and unselfish. She is remembered for the aloha spirit she exemplified. As she
once described, The aloha spirit is real simple. You give and you give and you
give . And you give from the heart, until you have nothing else to give.
Diagnosed with breast cancer when she was just 32, Sunn
was given only a few months to live. She died 15 years later on January 2, 1998.
Throughout her long battle with cancer, her kindness and courage touched the
hearts and lives of all who knew her.
San Diego City Counilwoman and mayoral candidate, Donna
Frye, has participated in the Luau with her surf-legend husband, Skip Frye, for
the past 12 years.
This event always brings back the memory of my good
friend, Rell, reminisced Donna Frye. So many of our friends, including Skips
mom, died from cancer. Each year the Rell Sunn Award is given out in recognition
of spirit, courage and aloha in the fight against cancer.
border=1> This years recipient of the Rell Sunn Award was Dr. David Tarin,
the immediate past Director of the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center.
At the luau, Dr. Tarin accepted the award on behalf of all the people who have
given their time and energy to raise the necessary funding, those who work night
and day in the center to deliver the best care possible, university leaders,
corporate and individual sponsors, the legends of surfing, as well as the
organizers of fundraising events.
This is the first year that weve had a luau after the
opening of the new cancer center building, stated Dr. Tarin. I want you all to
feel very proud of the fact that this would not have been possible without the
contribution each and every one of you has made.
In addition to the surf contest, the days events also
included a luau dance presentation, tropical buffet with appetizers and
desserts, raffle drawings, silent auctions and team trophy presentations. All in
all, it was an unforgettable day of harmonizing with nature, aloha, friendship,
giving of oneself and working together for the sake of others; the human spirit
at its best.
The aloha spirit really flows at this event, said Skip
Frye. Its camaraderie and a really good feeling. The only time we [legends]
get together every year is this event to raise money for cancer research.
This is a way to come together, have a good time, raise
money for a good cause, and get people working together towards a common goal
while enjoying themselves, said Donna Frye. It doesnt get any better than
Republished by Surfersvillage
Courtesy of The Epoch
"The Most Widely Distributed Newspaper in
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