SR van This 1977 Volkswagen will be back to its original glory at the Surf Rodeo and will be the prize of a raffle with the proceeds benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of Ventura.

It's all about soul profit

The Surf Rodeo comes back to Pierpont beach with special focus on nonprofits

By Michael Sullivan 07/10/2014


Following the Surf Rodeo’s successful return last year after more than a decade, founder John “JD” Drury was at first on the fence about organizing such a massive event for 2014. It didn’t take much for him, though, to get the fire going again, and the support has been coming from all over the place. Close friends and family have been helping organize the two-day event this weekend, July 12-13, that will be filled with surf competitions, bands, beer gardens, classic rodeo events for all ages, a bikini contest, booths lining Seaward Avenue and, of course, sand to get in all your cracks. The one thing, however, JD didn’t anticipate was the influx of donations specifically to raise funds for local nonprofits.

“If your soul is getting profit, it’s not always about money,” JD said.

Treading the same path as last year, JD and several members of the community united around the restoration of a classic vehicle to be raffled at the rodeo with the proceeds going to the Boys & Girls Club of Ventura. Last year the prize was a 1964 Ford Falcon; this year it’s a 1977 Volkswagen bus, special thanks for to Little People Customs Inc.

“The Falcon was cool, but the bus is way cool. It really captures the spirit,” said Patrick Davidson, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Ventura. The club received approximately $3,500 from the raffle of the Falcon last year.

Davidson, who located to Ventura four years ago to run the club, is impressed with the community, the event and the people he has come to know in the short time he has been here.

“The thing is, there is such pride in Ventura; that’s one of the things I have learned,” he said. “Last year, we were at the Surf Rodeo and had a booth and kids were there; it’s a way for our club members to be a part of the community. It is really fun. It was a beautiful weekend and everyone was having a great time.”

The spirit of giving is alive and well at the Surf Rodeo this year, with at least 13 shapers donating surfboards for live auction with the proceeds going to local nonprofits, and Davidson is on board (no pun intended) with the great nature of it.

“Surfing is part of the DNA of Ventura, and to give back in an organic way,” he said, referring to the generosity of local shapers.

Tami Winbury, producer at the Surf Rodeo, has dedicated much of her time working with local charities. She said that the charities included A Walk on Water, which focuses on teaching kids with autism how to surf; The Girls Empowerment Workshop, which empowers girls by giving them information necessary to make decisions for a positive, healthy, involved and successful lives; THERAsurf, which aims to help special-needs children benefit from the power of surfing and the ocean; The Young and Brave Foundation, which helps children battling cancer; SPARC – the no-kill Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center; Tommy Olson Benefit; Keep A Breast Foundation; and Save the Mermaids.

The shapers include Glen Kennedy, Jason Feist, Jeff Hull, John Bohning, Joe Bark, John Perry, Malcolm Campbell, Matt Moore, Mike Mooney, Robert Weiner, Scott Anderson, JD Drury and Adam Virs.

Tobi Green, the director of Girls Empowerment Workshop of Ojai Valley, is proud to be a part of the event as well as a being beneficiary of the charitable giving.

“I think it is amazing, and I am honored to be one of the few people being represented at the rodeo,” she said. “My organization is really small and I rely only on local funding so this was a very good opportunity — and to be represented and spread the word and to be a part of such an amazing event. .”

For JD, giving back has been his mainstay for the last several years, having founded the Boys & Girls Thrift Store on Ventura Avenue in Ventura. It’s fitting that Surf Rodeo is turning out to be all about the “soul profit.”

“The thrift store is one of the major contributors to the Boys & Girls Club. Tens of thousands of dollars have been donated and the store is good will for the community … but no one has a bigger heart than JD,” Davidson said.

“You have to take care of your community,” JD said.

For more information on the contests, the band lineup and to purchase tickets, $15 per day or $25 for the weekend, go to Tickets can also be purchased at the booth on Seaward and Pierpont. Like Surf Rodeo on Facebook for updates.


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