Now in its 21st year, the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center Luau & Legends of Surfing Invitational has become one of the most successful surfing fundraisers in the country; since its inception in 1994, the invitational has raised more than $6 million for the UCSD Moores Center. The day will be packed full of events, including a surfing competition, auctions, and a traditional luau complete with a tropical themed buffet.
This year, the fundraiser kicks off at 8 a.m. on the beach near Scripps Pier with a surfing tournament, where teams of four are paired with a surf legend to compete in the contest and vie for traditional trophies. Past legends have included Fernando Aguerre, Debbie Beacham and Rob Machado. This year’s Honorary Chair is the great Shaun Tomson, 1997 World Champion and inventor of the climb-and-drop method of riding. Catch him at the VIP Party and Luau and Legends of Surfing Invitational!
The luau follows directly at noon with live music, traditional Polynesian dancing from the Heali’i’s Polynesian Revue, and a scrumptious tropical buffet. Live and silent auctions will feature one-of-a-kind surfboards, memorabilia and vacation packages. Guests may opt to participate in opportunity drawings, the silent auction, or test their bidding skills against each other as “one-of-a-kind” pieces of surf-inspired artwork, exceptional surfboards, and vacation packages are put up for live auction.
To add to the all-star lineup, this year’s Luau will also feature a special musical performance by Jon Foreman – lead singer and guitarist for the Grammy Award-winning rock band Switchfoot.
The program will close with the presentation of the Rell Sunn Award, which is awarded every year to the person who has achieved excellence in the battle against cancer and displays the qualities designated by the UCSD Cancer Center: unselfishness, compassion, and a dedication to helping others. The award was established in 1998 to honor the memory of the “Queen of Makaha,” Rell Sunn herself – a UCSD cancer patient who sadly passed away in 1998 after living with cancer for nearly 15 years.
The event will take place on Sunday, August 17 from 8am to 3pm. The surfing tournament is free for viewing; tickets to the luau are $175 per person and sponsorships are available. For more information and to register or purchase Luau tickets, please call (858) 534-4289 or visit luauandlegendsofsurfing.org.
[images & information: bingsurf.com, ucsdnews.edu, luauandlegendsofsurfing.org]
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