Surfaid hosts supporters party at Bondi in conjunction with Boost Mobile Surfsho

14 Mar 2011 0

Culture Jam
Monday, March 14, 2011
Words by Alex Cameron
Photos by Ben Hansen

The story of SurfAid is well known among the surfing community. Dr Dave Jenkins visited the Mentawai Islands on a routine surf trip 11 years ago, was struck by the poverty and ill-health of the local population, and has been striving to make a lasting difference in their lives ever since. However, like any philanthropic endeavour, SurfAid’s achievements have been the result of a broader community effort.

The incredible generosity of thousands of people around the world has allowed their team of committed staff to implement high impact and lasting initiatives. On Friday night, in conjunction with the Boost Mobile SurfSho at Bondi Beach, SurfAid threw a party to thank the community that supports it. The guests were treated with complimentary Coronas and Madfish Sideways Wine, live music and a surprise film preview. Eugene Tan, owner of the Aquabumps Gallery on Curlewis St, just back from the famous Bondi Beach, generously donated his gallery space for the function. It proved to be the ideal beachside location for a fundraiser, combining a dimly lit, sand covered concrete courtyard with the striking gallery full of Uge’s photography work. By eight o’clock, the place was bustling with Friday night chit-chat. The event had all the hallmarks of a great fundraiser. There was a silent auction that included Andy Irons and Owen Wright boards, artworks by Uge and phones donated by Blackberry, plus more. Live music was donated by Mylee and the Mopheads and DJ Matt Ringrose, and free beer was provided by Corona with an array of wine from Madfish Sideways Wines. The night really kicked off with an impromptu performance of a song entitled ‘Couldn’t Walk Away’ that was written by Milton Brown, co-ordinator of the SurfAid Schools program. Milton wrote the song in ten minutes after being inspired by the work that SurfAid was doing. His original recording of the track featured the vocals of a then student of his, Mylee Grace. Mylee now fronts Mylee and the Mopheads, and for the first time in seven years, with the support of Dr Dave Jenkins on a borrowed harmonica, they performed the song. It was a great way to set the evening’s event in motion. Throughout the night, surfing media donated by Tim Bonython Productions was projected onto a wall of the courtyard, providing a visual feast for those moments between conversations. Halfway through the party, the images changed to an exclusive sneak peak of SurfAid’s new film ‘Behind the Palms’ which tells the story behind the last decade of the humanitarian organization’s efforts. The guests were privileged to witness the surprise preview of this film that had been ten years in the making. It contained powerful images of the work that SurfAid staff have been accomplishing, and the difference that it is making to the lives of thousands of isolated Indonesians. The fundraiser was an excellent showing of community, selflessness and positivity from the surfing tribe. It is great to see SurfAid increasing its presence in the global surf industry by becoming officially affiliated with events like the Boost Mobile SurfSho. In turn, the support that Boost and their sponsors offered for the fundraiser is evidence of the influence that SurfAid’s work has had on the industry. The event exemplifies the power of good intentions and a willingness to act within the surfing community, and was a fantastic way to acknowledge the tremendous generosity of SurfAid’s donors. SurfAid wants to send out a special thanks to all their sponsors – Boost Mobile, Blackberry, Surfing Australia High performance centre, Corona, Madfish Wines, Nando’s, Billabong, Red Bull, Arnette, Aquabumps, BICO Australia, Owen Wright, Swiss Grand, Let’s Go Surfing, Destress Express, Mylee and the Mopheads, Matt Ringrose and Tim Bonython. To learn more about Surfaid’s incredible work, head over to their new site at www.surfaidinternational.org To find out more about Eugene Tan’s Aquabumps Gallery, check out www.aquabumps.com.au

Tags: Australia , SurfAid , Bondi , NSW , Sydney (create Alert from these tags)

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