“Mauli Ola put the ‘fun’ in ‘fundraiser’!” –Paul Hamilton.
Mauli Ola, the local non-profit that takes young people with cystic fibrosis surfing to help them breathe easier, put on what may be the most fun charitable event I’ve been to in a long time. Hans Hagen hosted the sold-out party with Chevy Metal, a band comprised of some of the Foo Fighters, including drummer and Laguna son Taylor Hawkins.
I’ve attended and been a part of many local charitable events, but that was the hardest I’ve rocked to help people.
Steven “Slidawg” Chew provided both DJ services for the event and his surf school for the surf experience day at Thalia Street two days later. It’s a pleasure to be able to participate in something that fits so organically into the Laguna Beach culture and coastline.
Another local pro surfer, James Pribram, was also engaged in giving back last week when he paddled from Pearl Street to the Tijuana Sloughs at the USA-Mexico boarder with a team from Below the Surface, a non-profit dedicated to cleaning up water pollution. The 100+ mile paddle was to raise awareness about the impact that river mouths and other water outlets have on ocean pollution and water quality.
A highlight for James was near Sunset Cliffs in south San Diego, when he was caught between what he described as one of the most beautiful sunsets he’s seen while passing the sewage treatment facilities near Point Loma.
James described the moment saying, “The combination of the extreme beauty that nature gives us and the brown water being pumped into the ocean was a powerful and ironic contrast between what we receive as a free gift, and how we treat the source of all this beauty and wonder.”
For his ongoing global environmental work, James also received the OC Surfer of the Year–Ambassador award from the Orange County Register. It is awarded based on a panel decision among the top three vote getters in that publication’s annual contest.
Finally, Dave Day, founder of local coffee charity, Growers First, was with Laguna residents John and Chloe Mansour and Alec Williams in Honduras working on a variety of initiatives this month. Among other things, they started a Zero Trash program in the Honduran village of Las Lagunas—sharing Chip McDermott’s Laguna Beach clean up program with farmer families in Central America.
While summer in Laguna Beach is a great time of recreation and, it’s amazing to see the impact that local residents and programs are having around the world sharing our lifestyle and values.
David Vanderveen is a Laguna Beach resident, husband, father and energy drink entrepreneur. His email is [email protected].