SIMA Raises Record Amount Of Funds For Humanitarian Organizations

After receiving his SIMA Humanitarian of the Year Award, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers poses with (from left to right) Santiago Aguerre, Sal Masekela, Tony Hawk, Izzy Paskowitz and Fernando Aguerre, Chairman of Liquid Nation Ball.” Photo: Joanna Tichauer

After receiving his SIMA Humanitarian of the Year Award, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers poses with (from left to right) Santiago Aguerre, Sal Masekela, Tony Hawk, Izzy Paskowitz and Fernando Aguerre, Chairman of Liquid Nation Ball.” Photo: Joanna Tichauer

SIMA Raises Record Amount Of Funds For Humanitarian Organizations

La Jolla, Calif. (September 15, 2009) – A sold-out crowd of more than 450 surf industry executives, surf stars, and VIPs gathered together on Friday, September 11, 2009, to raise an all time record amount at Liquid Nation Ball 6, the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) Humanitarian Fund’s annual fundraiser. Over the past six years, the SIMA Humanitarian Fund has raised more than $1.25 million dollars for global medical relief, urban youth outreach, injury prevention and assistance, and health education and awareness. The evening honored Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, as the SIMA Humanitarian of the Year as well as raised a record-shattering net amount of more than $270,000, which will go directly to 12 very deserving surf-related humanitarian organizations.

“The huge success of this year’s Liquid Nation Ball proves the surf industry’s core values and resiliency when it comes down to reaching out for a better world,” said Fernando Aguerre, Liquid Nation Ball chairman and host. “To not only surpass our 2009 fundraising goal, but to also raise more than we ever have in this tough economic environment, is unbelievable. On behalf of the SIMA Humanitarian Fund and the 12 amazing beneficiaries, I would like to thank all of those who supported Liquid Nation Ball 6. Giving is the key to a full life.”

One of the highlights of the night came during the live auction when Aguerre went to auction off Flea’s very own, one-of-a-kind, signature “Fleabass”. Flea ran up on stage with his bass and rocked out to the ground in an impromptu performance for the cheering crowd. The bidding war for the bass finally peaked at $16,000.

“Anything that I have ever done that is good, that is kind, you know, that is helpful, or gone out of my way to devote a lot of energy to helping other people – it’s just what you’re supposed to do,” explained Flea as he addressed the crowd after receiving his SIMA Humanitarian of the Year award. “And really, I applaud the surf industry this evening for coming together like this and using their energy for the variety of charities they support.”

Flea’s Humanitarian of the Year award was presented by pro skateboarder Tony Hawk and Surfers Healing’s Izzy Paskowitz. Well-known as arguably one of the greatest rock bass players of all time, Flea is also known for making his mark on the world through his humanitarian efforts. Flea has a selfless heart, especially for children in need, as demonstrated by his active support and volunteerism for Surfer’s Healing, where he helps autistic children experience the joy and calming effects of the ocean and surfing. In addition to surf-related activities, Flea uses his love of music to benefit children. Flea co-founded the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a non-profit music school providing scholarships and affordable music lessons to children in the community, with Keith Barry in 2001. While classmates at Bancroft Junior High School and Fairfax High School, their involvement in their schools’ music departments impacted them positively. After witnessing the decline in music education at schools, Flea and Keith decided to fill the void by establishing the Silverlake Conservatory of Music. For more information on the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, please visit www.silverlakeconservatory.com.

The event, held at the ocean-front home of Aguerre where one of the world’s best private surfboard collections is located, also included a live auction of one-of-a-kind items, dancing, a silent auction sponsored by Riviera Magazine and live music. Always a highlight, the live auction featured items such as a “Portal” surfboard sculpture shaped by Greg and Jed Noll, which was auctioned off for $22,500. A private dinning experience for 10 by Zenbu Sushi was bid on so competitively, that the package was doubled creating two winners for $13,000 each. The “Evolution of Boardsports,” a compilation display of miniature boards done by master modeler Malcolm Wilson, was also a popular item on the auction floor, resulting in two packages being sold for $15,000 each. As has been the tradition for the past five years, the bidding at Liquid Nation Ball 6 concluded with Aguerre auctioning off his pants and shirt – which this year were tiger print pants and a Jean Paul Gautier velvet shirt – which he sold for the sake of humanity. In addition to money raised during the live auction, earlier that day at the ASR trade show, the Billabong Art of Shaping auctioned off boards that raised a net amount of $36,000 with proceeds going directly to the SIMA Humanitarian Fund.

Liquid Nation Ball was originally created by Santiago and Fernando Aguerre to support the humanitarian efforts of SurfAid. In 2006 the brothers donated the Ball to the SIMA Humanitarian Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. The event now serves as the official fundraising event for the SIMA Humanitarian Fund, and continues to be presided over by Fernando Aguerre. All proceeds from Liquid Nation Ball 6 will benefit 12 surf-related social and humanitarian non-profit organizations selected by the SIMA Humanitarian Fund Board of Directors for their efforts focusing on improving the quality of life, health and/or welfare of people. The 2009 Liquid Nation Ball beneficiaries include Keep a Breast, Boarding for Breast Cancer, Surfer’s Healing, Jimmy Miller Foundation, AccesSurf Hawaii, Outdoor Outreach, Stoked Mentoring, Life Rolls On, Mauli Ola Foundation, Project Wipeout, SurfAid International and the Sumba Foundation. For more information on Liquid Nation Ball or the beneficiaries, please visit www.liquid-nation.com.

For event information or to make a donation to the SIMA Humanitarian Fund, please contact Shannon Park, shannon@sima.com or 949.366.1164 x2.

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the official working trade association of more than 300 surf industry suppliers. Founded in 1989, SIMA is a non-profit organization that serves to promote awareness of the surf industry and participation in the sport of surfing through public relations efforts and a variety of services, educational programs and research. In addition, SIMA actively supports oceanic environmental efforts through its 501(c)(3) charitable environmental foundation, the SIMA Environmental Fund. In the past 20 years, SIMA’s Environmental Fund has raised more than $4.9 million for environmental groups seeking to protect the world’s oceans, beaches and waves. The SIMA Humanitarian Fund, also a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, was established in 2006 to award grants to various surf or boardsport related social and humanitarian non-profit organizations whose efforts are focused on improving the quality of life, health and/or welfare of people. For more information please visit www.sima.com.