Longboard Luau fundraiser hits 15th year


The 15th annual Moores UCSD Cancer Center Luau and Longboard Invitational will hit the local beaches on Aug. 10 and 24 with two separate events.

The second annual Survivor Beach will be held Sunday on the beach near Scripps Pier.

During the event, surfboards are laid end to end, creating a long line. Last year’s collaboration totaled 1,133 feet, more than the length of three football fields. Organizers hope to build an even longer line this year.

Registration, free and open to the public, begins at 8 a.m. Participants are invited to bring as many surfboards as they want.

“We wanted to bring the community together to create a symbol of awareness for cancer research,” said Jessica Yingling, vice chair of the fundraiser.

Everyone who comes to Survivor Beach will receive a “Surfing for the Cure” souvenir and be entered for a chance to win tickets to the luau.

On Aug. 24, the public is invited to watch surfing legends and community leaders compete for trophies in the Longboard at 7 a.m. near Scripps Pier. Each team is composed of a surfing legend and four other members. Corporate sponsorships started at $10,000; local supporters include Pfizer La Jolla, Genentech Oceanside and Allergan Foundation.

Some of the surfing icons taking to the waves to benefit cancer research are Skip Frye, Rusty Treisendorfer, Robert August, Jericho Toppler and Mike Doyle.

The luau follows at noon and will take place on Pawka Green at the Scripps Institution for Oceanography. The Hawaiian-themed celebration will feature live music, traditional Polynesian dancing and surf memorabilia auctions. Tickets are $150.

“I think these events are important because one in three people will get cancer, and all of us know someone who’s had cancer,” Yingling said. “This disease won’t be cured by one person; it will be cured by all of us coming together.”

One of the highlights of the fundraiser is the presentation of the Rell Sunn Award, an honor presented each year to someone who has combined the fight against cancer with unselfishness, compassion and a dedication to helping others.

“(Sunn) was one of those amazing people who everyone she ever met was instantly her friend,” Yingling said.

Diagnosed at 32 and given months to live, Sunn fought breast cancer for 15 years.

“Rather than giving up, she did the opposite,” Yingling said. “She lived life to the fullest.”

Known as “the first lady of surfing,” Sunn embodied the aloha spirit: kindness, humility, unity and patience.

This year’s winner of the Rell Sun Award is Dr. Doris Howell, head of the Doris Howell Foundation for Research in Women’s Health and founder of San Diego Hospice.

Over the past 14 years, this event has raised more than $2.6 million.

For more information about Survivor Beach or the Longboard Invitational and Luau, call (858) 822-0023 or visit