As the country gets ready to celebrate the 4th of July, our little corner of the world prepares for all the craziness, family and friend-time that we have grown to love….or not! There are so many traditions here in the South Bay and we are lucky to be able to share our holiday at the beach together. Jimmy loved the 4th of July, from the parades in Coronado that would include soldiers and vets marching proudly down Orange Avenue, to the wild parade on the Strand in Manhattan and Hermosa Beach, which would include girls in bikini’s on roller skates, the iconic Ironman, and lots of family time in and out of the water all day. We would set up early and stay all day. The littles would nap under chairs draped with towels for shade and everyone would grab candy from Marsha’s endless bag of goodies. This was pre-cell phones, so we would actually talk, play games, sneak cold ones from our coolers and wait til sundown to watch the fireworks light up the coast. It was all one big party for Jimmy at 524 or 121. Our home was always open to Jimmy and Jeff’s friends. In between surf sessions, they would hop into our jacuzzi and if Chris P was there, we would know the drain would be clogged with sand by the end of the day! I close my eyes and remember year after year, the sights and smells of the 4th, from the barbecues to the sulfur odor of the fireworks. I’m just so grateful for those 35 years we all celebrated together.
This July, we have another reason to celebrate! The BeneFiesta, our favorite fundraising event is back after almost 3 years of Covid. On July 23, we will once again share the stoke and celebrate the good work of the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation and our ground-breaking work with at risk/at promise youth from ten different facilities, Veterans in Los Angeles and San Diego, Marines from the Wounded Warrior Battalion West at Camp Pendleton, and our newest groups: the Health Care Workers on the front lines in the battle against Covid, from Providence Little Company of Mary Hospital and Torrance Memorial Hospital. Our little family foundation has grown to be a world-wide leader in Ocean/Surf Therapy and we are ready to celebrate! Hope you can join us!
The event will be at the lovely home of Ron and Stacy Harrison in Hermosa Beach. As always, we promise an evening of surprises, unusual experiences, delicious food and beverages (no chicken and peas at round tables of 10!) This will be the first time we have held an auction online and we have some astounding items to bid on from the comfort of your home. It opens a week before the event. From a visit to the Wild West at a Ranch in Montana, (donated by Robb Stroyke) to the beaches of Punta Mita in Mexico, (donated by the Speiser Family) we have something for everyone.
Pro Surfer Alex Gray (who Jimmy taught to surf) and his friend, videographer Greg Browning, will offer a videotaped surf lesson to some lucky person or family, and famed artist Collette Miller from the Angel Wing Project will offer an original Angel Wing surfboard, to be personalized at the event. Jimmy loved angels and grew up with some on our walls. Our favorite jeweler Sig Ward donated a gorgeous diamond and emerald bracelet, and artist Dennis Chang has created a touching tribute to Bruce Lee surfboard.
Of course, there will be a Brent Broza Blur, which is huge and beyond fabulous! I could go on and on, but I hope you will hop online and visit our BeneFiesta website, buy a ticket, find a treasure or donate to help a Wounded Warrior, at-risk child, a veteran in need of support or health care worker, who needs a respite from the cares and responsibilities of dealing with daily life and death. Our Ocean Therapy program has continued to help all of these participants for the past 17 years. In August, it will be 18 years since Jimmy left us. With your help, through the Benefiesta, we will be able to reach many more in need of the healing that Ocean Therapy brings to all.
As always, thank you for your enduring support and friendship. Thanks for the memories and for the memories to be made this month. Be kind, be safe and be healthy.
Love & Light, Nancy