Surfers, Celebrities and Liquid Nation Ball 8
SIMA’s 8th Annual Liquid Nation Ball went down last night in La Jolla where hundreds of surf industry peeps gathered to honor ‘Keep a Breast’ co-founder and CEO Shaney jo Darden as the 2011 SIMA Humanitarian of the Year.
The event, held at the ocean front home of Fernando Aguerre, is the official fundraiser for the SIMA Humanitarian Fund which benefits 13-surf related humanitarian organizations.
Aguerre, one of the most colorful, passionate and dedicated humanitarians I know, graciously hosts the yearly event at his home which raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for SIMA beneficiaries including ‘Keep a Breast’, ‘Surfer’s Healing’, ‘Life Rolls On’, the ‘Jimmy Miller Foundation’, and a new Athlebrity favorite ‘AccesSurf.’
For those out of the ‘Keep a Breast’ loop, Shaney jo is a powerhouse, coining the phrase ‘I Love Boobies’ while making serious strides towards raising awareness among the next generation about breast cancer and putting ‘faces’ to the cause via their ‘Image If’ there were no cancer campaign.
“The thing I love most about it is we do it all over the world,” Darden told me during the event. “You see this cross-section of people, mostly young people, all nationalities, all different social, economical backgrounds, and you really see their face and their one little sentence of how they’ve been impacted, it’s so powerful.”
Indeed. TV host Sal Masekela, who is a staple among the surf ‘tribe’ described his good friend Shaney as an angel. And I could see why…she was dismayed that people were there to recognize her. “It’s not just about me, that what’s weird. I’m getting this award but it’s a collective thing with thousands of people who’ve been supporting my dream and vision. My team and brands work so hard, it’s definitely a collective thing.”
This was my third year attending LNB, and I must say, it was the first time I’ve seen an award recipient approach each person in attendance to say hello and thank them. Shaney jo is, simply put, a unique and beneficial addition to the world.
As mentioned, AccesSurf was in the house. Based in Oahu and backed by such celebrities as Jimmy Buffet, the organization assists people with disabilities explore their own level of performance in the ocean environment. CEO Mark Marble, along with co-founder Richard Julian and an AccesSurf athlete, spoke to me about the program and its upcoming goals, “We are actually training athletes now to go into competition and hope to start entering mainstream able-bodied competitions so our challenged athletes can compete in their own heats against their own level of ‘ability’, not disability, and they can showcase what they’re doing.”
I daresay those who partake in AccesSurf’s adaptive surf programs could most likely out-surf most of their competitors-able bodied or not. Mad props to this amazing organization for giving back to the people of Oahu and enriching lives in ways you can’t even imagine. Check em HERE and look for much more about them in future posts.
Many thanks to everyone at SIMA, Fernando Aguerre, Sal Masekela, Bill and Lori Walton and Shaney jo Daren for an inspirational and amazing gathering of the tribe.
Also thanks to Michael Realpeople for his wicked photog skills and Miss Match clothing in San Diego for proving my wardrobe.
As always, thanks for reading~
SIMA: Established in 2006, the SIMA Humanitarian Fund was created to serve as the humanitarian arm of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association by raising money from the public through fundraisers and solicitations. The SIMA Humanitarian Fund uses these funds to promote and support surf or boardsport related social and humanitarian non-profit organizations whose efforts are focused on improving the quality of life, health, and/or welfare of people.
AccesSurf empowers people with disabilities by providing adaptive surfing instruction and therapeutic educational programs on water recreation and enriches lives by assisting families to access the beach and ocean in a barrier free environment.
The Keep A Breast Foundation™ is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to help eradicate breast cancer by exposing young people to methods of prevention, early detection and support. Through art events, educational programs and fundraising efforts, we seek to increase breast cancer awareness among young people so they are better equipped to make choices and develop habits that will benefit their long-term health and well-being.