The inaugural Liquid Nation Ball benefiting Surf Aid International was a fantastic success this past weekend in La Jolla, CA. The event exceeded expectations and raised over $100,000 for Surf Aid, an organization dedicated to fighting malaria and other preventable diseases afflicting the people of the Mentawai Islands of Indonesia, a popular surfing destination.
Liquid Nation was conceptualized and created by Santiago Aguerre, founder and president of Reef, as a vehicle to generate greater awareness and support for humanitarian causes from the surfing industry. The $100,000 raised on Saturday night through ticket sales, a surfboard auction, and generous contributions will help Surf Aid to achieve many of their heath and education program goals in the Mentawai Islands. Among the many donors were: Billabong, Quiksilver, donor Sean Nevette, and ASR’s David Loechner and Kevin Flannagan, who both purchased boards for a total of $14,000.
450 of the top industry pros, players, moguls and media demostrated their spirit and support for the cause at the phenomenal home of Reef’s founder and chairman, Fernando Aguerre, to eat classic indonesian food, and hear from Dr. Dave Jenkins and Andrew Griffiths, the visionaries behind Surf Aid. After the short presentation came the auction of surfboards from the world’s top surfing professionals, including Andy Irons, Bruce Irons, Taj Burrow, and Joel Parkinson, who were not able to attend but showed their support by donating boards.
Quite a list of notables from surfing’s history came out in support of Surf Aid including four former world champs – PT, Rabbit, Shaun Tomson, and Kelly Slater, legendary shaper Greg Noll, and professional surfers Rob Machado, Luke Egan, Mick Lowe, Nathan Hedge, Kieran Perrow, Damien Hobgood, Rochelle Ballard, Taylor Knox, and Brad Gerlach.
Industry leaders like Quiksilver’s Bob McKnight, Volcom’s Richard Woolcott, OP’s Dick Baker, and Billabong’s Paul Naude bid on the surfboards signed by the pros in a show support for the people of the Mentawais. As former world champ Rabbit Bartholomew put it, “Helping out and giving back is the spirit of surfing. Surfing has a charitable spirit and it cares about people. It defines many of us and why we love surfing. It’s important to acknowledge Surf Aid’s great work but also to expand the reach to a broader audience so more good can be done.”
The event was covered by an impressive media list almost unmatched by any other event the surf industry has supported. Liquid Nation has undoubtedly set a precedent for the charitable functions of the surf industry. As Santiago said, “We are the Liquid Nation and together, by supporting Surf Aid, are changing the fate of this unique Mentawai culture.”
Surf Aid International is a non-profit aid organization working to significantly improve the health of the Mentawai people through local health and education programs. Surf Aid encourages and coordinates the support of the global surfing community to help accomplish their mission. For more information on Surf Aid, please contact CEO Andrew Griffiths at 760-672-7316 or firstname.lastname@example.org.