The Surfing for Hope Annual Longboard Contest Weekend will take place from Friday September 30 through Saturday October 1, 2016, in Pismo Beach and Avila Beach. This event is designed to help inspire people challenged by cancer through the positive energy of surfing. The foundation believes that surfing is the ideal format to help people in this situation by showing how positive and healthful the sport of surfing is and it gives the surfing community the opportunity to give back to people in need by sharing their love of surfing.
The event begins with the Memorial Paddle Out on Friday, September 30 - 4:00pm, a special paddle out to honor, celebrate and remember those who have lost their battle with cancer. This event is free to attend and all are welcome. Following the memorial paddle out, Opening Ceremonies continue with a Benefit Reception held at the Avila Lighthouse Suites in Avila Beach. All proceeds from the Reception will benefit the Hearst Cancer Resource Center (HCRC) at French Hospital Medical Center. The luau themed evening will also feature great local brews, wines and an auction with surf-themed items.
Saturday, October 1, 2016, 7am, the Annual Longboard Surf Contest, Pismo Beach Pier. The contest is open to ages 10 and up with a variety of divisions. Surfers may register online or onsite the morning of the event. Registration will be available the morning of the event beginning at 6:00 a.m. on the Pismo Beach Pier. The surf contest will begin at 7:00 AM. Beach entries will be accepted until 6:30 a.m. on the contest day.
Saturday, October 1, 2016 - 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, the Family Fun Fair Benefit for Cancer on the Pismo Beach Pier. This event will include activities for the whole family, live music, food vendors, and more. Special vendors include businesses and organizations that support, educate and help people who are going through the cancer experience.
Recently, Surfing for Hope developed the Pure Stoke Surf Camp Kids Program that took place at end of summer on Saturday August 27, 2016. The SFH Youth Program was made possible by the generous donation of the Sharkey Foundation. According to the Surfing for Hope foundation, the goal of this Youth Program is to recognize and provide support to what the foundation believes is an often overlooked group of cancer victims: adolescent and teenage children whose parents are going through the cancer fight. Those children who are living with parents fighting cancer and who are old enough to understand the consequences of their parent’s plight are generally overlooked by the medical cancer support community. These young secondary victims are usually not able to attend office visits and therefore do not feel part of the team. They can have a sense of helplessness as they see the pain and suffering of their parent going through the cancer battle. They are also witness to the emotional strain of the other parent who is trying to support their sick spouse. Through the Hearst Cancer Resource Center, youth group support programs have been developed, but have proven to be largely unsuccessful due to lack of attendance. To those involved, it became very clear that adolescents, teenagers and young adults do not want to sit in a room at the resource center talking about their feelings. They believe that the SFH Youth Program can address this issue by providing a safe, fun environment, utilizing the healing energy of the beach and ocean in which these young victims can find an outlet to help them deal with the stress of a parent with cancer. The program is designed to support a day at the beach with other children who are facing similar situations. Their vision is to provide these youths with surf lessons, beach volleyball, marine biology education and other “fun” beach activities in setting of a non-intimidating environment staffed by supportive instructors and counselors. There is no cost for this program.
The Surfing for Hope Foundation is a local 501c3 non-profit organization that was created to help ease the difficulty of cancer through the healing powers of surfing and the ocean life. The original event, the Surfing for Hope Longboard Surf Contest and Benefit Auction in 2012, was inspired by cancer survivor 'Helmet' Bob Voglin as a charity event to help return the support he received during his own struggle. Through his doctor, Tom Spillane, MD at Coastal Integrative Cancer Care, Bob chose the Hearst Cancer Resource Center as the best way to donate funds to help current cancer patients on the central coast. The success of this event, and the incredible support of others, has enabled the Surfing for Hope effort to expand into additional programs to help support those affected by cancer. Since 2012, Surfing for Hope has raised more than $160,000 to support the HCRC and the HCRC's Angel of Hope Fund, which provides financial assistance to cancer patients. For more information, visit surfingforhope.com.