The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel Hosts Surfing Santa and Surfboard Auction in Support of Children with Autism

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Two Annual Holiday Events that Benefit Surfers Healing

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The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is proud to present the Seventh Annual Holiday Surfboard Auction and Fifth Annual Surfing Santa Competition. Honoring the resort’s Community Footprints commitment to supporting worthy causes, these two seasonal events support Surfers Healing whose mission is to enrich the lives of people living with autism by exposing them to the unique experience of surfing.

The Holiday Surfboard Auction showcases an amazing selection of surfboards that are displayed at the resort and auctioned off to benefit Surfers Healing. The auction opens on Saturday, November 22 and bidding closes at noon on December 31. Surfboards are on display at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel throughout this timeframe. The auction runs as an online auction and can be found at

The Surfing Santa Competition takes place on Saturday, November 22 at Salt Creek Beach. The competition features four heats with prizes in six categories including:

  •     Surfing Rudolph (Pro/Am – short board for men 18 and older)
  •     Candy Cane Pro/Am (short board for girls of all ages)
  •     Santa’s Elves (short board for guys 17 and under)
  •     Yule Loggers (open longboard for guys and girls of all ages)
  •     Sleigh Ride (open body board for guys of all ages)
  •     Sleigh Bells (open body board for girls of all ages)

Contestants in all divisions would be eligible for a $1,000 Big Air prize, which will be based on contestable air points throughout the day. Competitors can register for the competition at

The concept for The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel’s Holiday Surfboard Auction and Surfing Santa Competition was developed by General Manager Bruce Brainerd. In 2008, the Surfboard Auction raised more than $13,000 for Surfers Healing. Two years later in 2010, the resort launched its Surfing Santa Competition. Since then, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel resort has raised more than $150,000 for Surfers Healing.

Both events are part of the resort’s Community Footprints program. Community Footprints was created to encourage leadership in volunteerism, fundraising, product donations and mentoring programs at a local level. No project is considered too large or too small. Dedicated Ritz-Carlton Ladies and Gentlemen provide a wide range of support and services to their community, including fund-raising for local charities, reading to the blind, preparing and serving lunches at homeless shelters, donating books to schools and volunteering at food banks. The Ritz-Carlton Community Footprints stresses that the most important resource is not always money, but time.

About Surfers Healing
Surfers Healing seeks to enrich the lives of people living with autism by exposing them to the unique experience of surfing. Surfers Healing was founded by Izzy and Danielle Paskowitz. Their son, Isaiah, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Like many autistic children, he often suffered from sensory overload-- simple sensations could overwhelm him. The ocean was the one place where he seemed to find respite. A former competitive surfer, Izzy hit upon an idea--with Isaiah on the front of his surfboard, and Izzy steering from the back, the two spent the day surfing together. Surfing had a profound impact on Isaiah. Israel and Danielle decided they wanted to share this unique therapy with other autistic children. They began to host day camps at the beach where autistic children and their families could be exposed to a completely new experience of surfing. Each year, Surfers Healing hosts more than 3,500 autistic children for complimentary surf camps held across the country from Malibu and Doheny Beach in California to Wrightsville Beach, NC and Toronto, Canada.

About The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel sits on a 150-foot bluff with panoramic white-water views of the Pacific Ocean and two-miles of sandy beach. The resort is a re-imagined surfside retreat that awakens guests’ senses with its unique ocean-front setting and remarkable service heritage. As the premiere destination for travelers who desire a playful approach to Southern California luxury, the resort has been the recipient of many awards over the years, but is proud to boast earning AAA Five Diamond status for the 29th year, the longest in California. For more information or reservations call 800-241-3333, the resort directly at 949-240-2000, a travel professional or visit

About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 86 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, an award that originated in 1987. Its purpose is to promote the awareness of quality excellence, recognize quality achievements of companies and publicize successful quality strategies. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company won the award in 1992 and 1999. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company web site at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc.

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Deanne French
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