Friday, December 5, 2008

Surfing Heritage Foundation partners with Rainbow Sandals

The mission of the Surfing Heritage Foundation is "to preserve, present, and promote surfing's heritage for the appreciation and education of current and future generations." SFH volunteers use audio recording devices to record the personal stories of surfers from the 1930's, 40's, and 50's. Since I think telling, listening to, and honoring personal stories is very important, I am a big fan of SFH.

While in San Diego in September, I picked up a postcard advertising an October 11th longboarding contest held at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, CA. Called "the Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez’s Battle of the Paddle", the event was a stand-up paddle festival/exposition with a series of races and demonstrations, open to all ages and skill levels. It was the first championship styled stand up paddling race, featuring an offshore course, and a $25,000+ cash purse. 100% of the proceeds benefitted the SFH.

I was intrigued, and tried to find some information about Rainbow Sandals' cause marketing campaigns. I didn't find anything, but then I came upon an interview with SFH board member and Rainbow Sandals founder, Jay "Sparky" Longley, in today's SFH e-newsletter. I thought this part of the interview was very cool!

Sparky, what do you want the SHF community to know about you?

That I am here to give my time to help others.

I mean, I believe you've got to help when you can. When I was young, there was really nobody there to help me. I could have become angry and resentful about that, but I decided early on that what ever I had to give, I would offer it to others. I have worked really hard, and I have to tell you at times it was very difficult and I didn't know if I would ever make it but I just kept at it, I was tenacious. I now have some time and money, and what good is it if I am not using it to help others?

Sparky, you do a lot for charity and non-profit organizations, how do you decide where to give of your time and money?

I like to help others whenever I can, especially if it has to do with helping people grow and be better people. Like right now, I am giving financially to help build another Vapassanna Meditation Center in Yucca Valley. It is an organization that helps people find peace and contentment through self-awareness and self-understanding. It is sponsored by past students and totally free of charge. I just went through the ten day course and it was wonderful, I think everybody should do it.

I feel like one of my biggest mistakes in life was not having much formal education. So I especially like giving to schools and organizations that help children grow and learn. Anything that helps people learn, especially children. That is one of the many reason's I support the SHF, because it is helping educate young people.

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