Shred the Gnar with Goose Island!

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Shred the Gnar with Goose Island!

We were asked to help Goose Island Brewery develop their last Fulton & Wood (limited edition) beer of the year. After several rounds of tastings, the time has finally come to reveal what Goose Island has been working on with a beach bash in the middle of winter (the only proper way to do it in Chicago!). 

The event will showcase local photographer Mike Killion's photos of the Great Lakes surf community. A portion of the proceeds from photo sales, and the raffle of a framed photo, will benefit Surfrider Chicago. Drink tokens and food will be provided, with a surf themed photo op, and live latin/surf/exotica rock provided by ALEWIFE.

For more information and to RSVP, visit do312.com/shredthegnar

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2014 Surfrider Eastern U.S. Chapter Conference

The 2014 Surfrider Foundation Eastern U.S. Chapter Conference was held October 17th-19th in Ocean City, Maryland with good reason. Our brothers and sisters in Ocean City have a fight on their hands, as the Reflection Seismology and dredging involved to build a proposed off-shore wind farm would have serious impact on both marine life and the quality of surf. 

"Surfrider Foundation's long-term success and growth are a tribute to its founder's vision of endless pressure, constantly applied," Chief Operating Officer Michelle Kremer said. "Taking on environmental battles may not be easy, but with enough pressure and commitment, they can and will be won."

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of Surfrider, over 70 attendees representing ten chapters were present for the keynote address by Dr. Chad Nelsen, the newly appointed Surfrider CEO. Vowing to boost membership while "putting the surf back in Surfrider," Nelsen is armed with degrees from Brown, Duke and UCLA along with 16 years of experience serving Surfrider as the Environmental Director. Other guest speakers included Julie Lawson of Trash Free Maryland, Lia Colabello of 5 Gyres and Surfrider  founder, Glenn Hening narrating a slide presentation on the origin of the foundation live via a telephone from his home in California.

Chicago Chapter was ably represented by activist Glenn Princen. We hear that, beside the weighty topics covered, there was a beach fire, awesome seafood dinner, convivial companionship, new friends, and, of course, saucy little waves for surfing on this unseasonably warm October weekend. Ya gotta make the best of it, right?

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3rd Annual SUP YACS Recap

3rd Annual Stand Up Paddleboard Race, Ride and Relay to Benefit Young Adult Cancer Survivors (SUP YACS)

Nearly 70,000 individuals between the ages of 15 and 39 are diagnosed with cancer each year.  In additional to occupying the ‘no man’s land’ that exists between pediatric and adult oncology, these individuals face unique, long-term side effects that often go unaddressed.  On Sunday, July 27th at Montrose Beach, we took a stand against young adult oncology where nearly 100 folks registered for our 3rd Annual Stand Up Paddleboard Race, Ride and Relay to Benefit Young Adult Cancer Survivors (SUP YACS).  The sun was shining, the air was warm and the water was (mostly) flat - everyone from the racers to clinic participants had a great time.  Most importantly, True North Treks and the Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center will receive proceeds from the day to continue the diligent work they do to better young adult cancer survivor lives.  We were fortunate to raise over $10,000!!!

We couldn’t do this without the expertise of Kayak Chicago – Dave Olson and his crew expertly set up the race course, keep participants safe and teach newbies how to paddle so they can participate in the races next year.  Mary Lou Cerami taught IndoBoard Balance Bootcamp while Duane Hanson kept us dancing on the sand with his DJ skills.  Dr. Jennifer Reichek and Jonny Imerman emceed the day for us and continue to fight for young adult cancer survivors every day in their day-to-day jobs at Lurie Children’s Hospital and Imerman Angels, respectively.  A HUGE thank you goes out to the Pacifico team for sponsoring our afterparty at the Dock at Montrose Beach where local band, Rendition kept us moving and grooving well into the afternoon.  The Pacifico beers were deliciously cold and the Pacifico giveaways were a highlight, as they are every year. 

Raffle prizes this year were provided by Neiman Marcus, the Goodman Theatre, the Shedd Aquarium, Mr. and Mrs. Smith Comedy, Boltwood restaurant and Main Street Outfitter.   A huge thank you to all of volunteers who make the day run so smoothly!  Get ready for next year’s race by taking classes offered at Kayak Chicago and Chicago Paddle Company. 

View more photos from the event

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BAREFOOT WINES BEACH RESCUE @MONTROSE 5.31.14

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BAREFOOT WINES BEACH RESCUE @MONTROSE 5.31.14

Summer has finally arrived, folks, and Surfrider Chicago celebrated with Barefoot Wines at Montrose Beach on Saturday, May 31st. The Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project, now in its either year, helps keep beaches, rivers, parks and lakes across America “barefoot friendly.”  Chicago was one of 15 stops across our great country this year and we had all the great makings for a perfect day: dedicated volunteers, beautiful sun-filled skies, a great after party featuring local band, Alewife, and delicious wine for those over the age of 21. Local SUP experts, Kayak Chicago, gave us the use of 5 SUP boards to also ensure it wasn’t just the sand that benefited from our efforts. Surfrider supporter, Jack Johnson, just happened to be in town that evening and graciously donated 2 free tickets to his show for some lucky volunteers! 

From broken glass to car parts to cigarette butts, over 50 volunteers worked diligently to ensure that Montrose Beach and the surrounding areas were barefoot friendly. After all that hard work, volunteers were graciously rewarded with a celebration event at the Dock at Montrose Beach.  Entertained for two hours by the surf-inspired music of Alewife (alewifemusic.com), folks enjoyed wine, bubbly and free appetizers courtesy of Barefoot Wines. 

This was Chicago Surfrider’s fourth clean-up with Barefoot Wines and we certainly can’t wait until the fifth!  For more information about the Surfrider and Barefoot partnership, please check out http://www.surfrider.org/partners/entry/barefoot-wine.  Our next event will be the largest paddle-out Chicago has ever seen on Saturday, June 21st at Montrose Beach.  Stay tuned for more information! 

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