Surfers Share a "Salty" Gift at Pipeline to a Cure

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Annual gala brings together the surf world to support the positive "salty" effect surfing has on those afflicted with cystic fibrosis.

PacSun held its Second Annual "Pipeline to a Cure" event and raised over $300,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Orange County on Saturday July 20 at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach. Legendary watermen Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama co-hosted the event that was attended by over six hundred guests which included the "who's who" of the surfing community. In attendance lending their support for the CF cause were surfers: Mickey Munoz, Jeff Clark, Jericho Poppler, Gavin Beschen, Kala Alexander, Michael Ho, Julian Wilson, Lisa Anderson, Sally Fitzgibbons, and Travis Mellem. This annual gala brings together the surf world to support the positive "salty" effect surfing has on those afflicted with cystic fibrosis.

The Pipeline to a Cure campaign was initiated after research showed that young cystic fibrosis (CF) patients who surf had healthier lungs. First-time attendees learned a lot about this devastating disease in a very passionate way. Laird took the stage and explained the trials of living with CF as well as surfing's revitalizing effects. He said researchers noticed that young surfers with CF had significantly healthier lungs. Doctors have determined that inhaling saltwater mist has a powerful effect on rehydrating the lining of the lungs and allowing CF patients to more easily eliminate bacteria-contaminated mucus. This discovery led researchers to develop a hypertonic saline solution, which CF patients around the world now inhale every day. In essence, CF patients now mimic a "surf session" on a daily basis. Laird seemed to get the surfers to connect when he asked them to imagine what it would feel like to have to fight to take a breath. "Breathing is something we all seem to take for granted until as surfers we realize that our common fear is drowning. Not to be able to breathe is something we are all afraid of." Throughout the evening, Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama encouraged attendees to give selflessly to help CF patients.

Outside the ballroom were Laird spoke, tables of donated auction items, were set up. Shawn White donated an autographed snowboard and Mike Hynson donated a framed art piece from his new book "Transcendental Memories of a Surf Rebel" Laird also took a moment to sign just 20 copies of his book "Force of Nature". Also donating proceeds at the event was a beautifully illustrated children's bedtime story "Surf Angel". The author Ms Terry Kraszewski and her daughter, Heather, a twenty six year old with Cystic Fibrosis, wrote the book to raise funds for CF and also awareness for ocean conservation. The book was endorsed by Laird when he met Terry and Heather at last year's inaugural event. Illustrator Bonnie Bright created the magical images and the original "Gidget", of Malibu fame, narrated the story on a CD that is included with every book. "The connection between the sport of surfing and cystic fibrosis is truly one-of-a-kind." said Stacie Perry, Action Sports Marketing Manager at PacSun. "It was an exciting, humbling and successful evening."

The event also was an opportunity to honor Mike Sullivan of LAcarGuy for his dedication and support for the CF Foundation and other worthwhile causes. Once again LACarGuy Mike Sullivan donated a Toyota Prius for the opportunity drawing and Shawn Parr of Go Country 105.1 FM acted as auctioneer. The evening's emcee was Chris Cote, editor-in-chief of TransWorld Magazine.

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This year's sponsors included PacSun, BJ's Restaurants, Wahoo's Fish Taco, American Airlines, LAcarGUY, Whale Tails Chips, Three Olives Vodka, Hawaiian Springs Water, Honest Tea, Fubar, VitaCoco, Coast Benefit Consultants, Volcom, Trunkettes, and Newport Surf Camps.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the leading organization devoted to curing cystic fibrosis. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation funds CF research, and helps to provide vital treatments and resources to CF patients and their families. For more information, visit http://www.cff.org.

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