Legendary Surf Contest and Luau
Raises More than $600,000 to Support
Research at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center

14th annual Luau and Longboard
Invitational tops fundraising and attendance records

September 5, 2007

By Jade Berggren

Luau and Longboard Invitational

A record-breaking 700 guests—including surfing legends, scientists, doctors, business leaders and cancer survivors—gathered on August 19 for the University of California, San Diego’s annual Luau and Longboard Invitational to raise more than $600,000 for the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center. Since its founding 14 years ago, the luau and surf contest has generated a total of $2.6 million in support for cancer research at UC San Diego.

“We are thrilled with the generous support that the local business and surfing communities continue to give to this annual event,” said Dennis Carson, M.D., director of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center.  “The gifts bring us one step closer to finding more effective treatments and cures for cancer through research, while helping us to continue to enhance our patient care and community outreach efforts.”

Luau co-chairs Paul Grayson and Craig Knox presented a ceremonial check of the proceeds to Carson at the close of the live auction. “The community’s ‘aloha spirit’ is the reason for this event’s success,” said Grayson. “We cannot beat this disease individually, but together we have a chance to find better ways to treat and prevent cancer.”

Additionally, Linda Olson, M.D., professor of clinical radiology at UC San Diego and an imaging specialist at the Moores Cancer Center, was honored with the “Rell Sunn – Queen of Makaha Award” in memory of the Hawaiian surfer who succumbed to breast cancer.  Olson was recognized for her exceptional commitment to the fight against cancer, and to her dedication to patients, teaching and the community.

Many longtime Luau supporters were in attendance, including event founders Sam Armstrong and John Otterson, as well as former chairs Steve Blank, Fred Borrelli, Paul Cleary, Eric Cusick, Hank Guyader, Sam Iacobellis, Charla and Paul Mullen, Murray Palmer, Ken Powers, Greg Rose and Ben Wood.

Among the 27 surfing teams vying for trophies were those of title sponsor Genentech, the Walton family, which placed first in the competition last year, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the 2007 trophy winner.  As part of its sponsorship, Genentech continued the Luau and Longboard Invitational tradition of supporting a “Thrivers Team”—a group of competitors who have successfully fought cancer.

Since its founding 14 years ago, the luau and surf contest has generated a total of $2.6 million in support for cancer research
at UC San Diego.

Photo credit: Kim Bly

Those in attendance also had the opportunity to paddle out near the Scripps Pier alongside top surfing legends including Endless Summer film director Bruce Brown, surfboard shapers Rusty Preisendorfer, Steve Walden and Micky Munoz, and local surfers Debbie Beacham and Skip Frye.  In addition to competing in the contest, some legends also donated one-of-a-kind surfboards for auction.

“This event wound not be possible without each and every individual and contribution,” said co-chair Knox. “From the generosity of our title sponsor Genentech, to the businesses that sponsor teams or donate auction items, to all of our volunteers— we thank the entire community for their support.”

 

Media Contacts:
Jade Beggren, 858-822-5309
Regan Olsson, 858-822-3353


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