ALISO VIEJO, Calif. The surf industry's leaders and stars gathered to raise funds for 12 surf-related humanitarian organizations at Liquid Nation Ball 3, held this weekend in LaJolla, Calif. The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) Humanitarian Fund raised $220,000 at the event, all of which will be distributed to a dozen organizations that use surfing to support humanitarian efforts including malaria prevention, autism, spinal cord injuries, breast cancer awareness, mental illness and underprivileged youth. Beneficiaries include: SurfAid International, Life Rolls On Foundation, Boarding for Breast Cancer, Surfers Healing, Stoked Mentoring, The Sumba Foundation, Keep a Breast, {{{Rabbit}}} Kekai Foundation, Get a Board Foundation, Outdoor Outreach, {{{Jimmy}}} Miller Foundation and Project Wipeout.

On behalf of our beneficiary groups, the SIMAHumanitarian Fund is extremely grateful for the support of the industry," said Dick Baker, president of the SIMA Humanitarian Fund and president of Op. "It's impossible not to be moved by the work and stories of these 12 organizations and be motivated to help. They are powerful reminders that surfing inspires people daily, and that as surfers we can make a difference whether it's through a large- scale fundraiser or donating a day of our time to volunteer for these organizations." Held at the ocean-front home of Reef co-founder and ISApresident Fernando Aguerre, more than 400 guests enjoyed an evening of music and dancing while also bidding on exclusive auction items. The event drew a host of international industry big-wigs with most all brands represented, as well as pros from surfing's past and present including Greg Noll, Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Lisa Andersen, Taj Burrow, Jamie O'Brien and Jesse Billauer.

My grandmother always told me, giving is much better than receiving," said Aguerre. "Getting together to give back and possitively impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of other human being is the greatest celebration of life. My brother Santiago and I are stoked about the event and support from family, friends and industry. While by body ended up cold after ending the auction by selling my one-of-a-kind pants and shirt (for $5,000), I felt the warmest in my heart. Muchas gracias to all. We’ll be back.” The highlight of the evening, the exclusive live auction, raised the bulk of the proceeds featuring rare items that represented a range of surf culture and history. Big-ticket items included:

• Signed boards donated by Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Andy Irons, Sofia Mulanovich, Tom Carroll, Tony Hawk and Shaun White;

• Acustom shaped 1930s balsa board by Roy Sanchez, hand-painted by acclaimed Australian artist Pete Tillack depicting surfing's founding gathers in action in Waikiki in the early 20th century;

• 9.5 karat diamond Nixon watch, one-of-a-kind, custom-made for Liquid Nation Ball 3;

• Exclusive Pipe Master's trophy, owned only by the Pipe Masters themselves; this one signed by former Pipe champs Rob Machado and Kelly Slater;

• Eddie Aikau trophy, which is given only to those who surf the legendary event;

• Dream surf trips to Tavarua, Namotu and South Africa

All proceeds from the auction items and ticket sales, as well as a generous donation by Balance Vector, will be distributed as much needed grant monies to the event beneficiaries. Liquid Nation Ball was created in 2004 by Santiago and Fernando Aguerre to help raise money and awareness for SurfAid International. This year, the Aguerre brothers offered Liquid Nation Ball to SIMA. With the event's growing success and the surf industry’s desire to help a variety of humanitarian causes, the SIMAHumanitarian Fund embraced the event to broaden the vision and help expand the reach of numerous beneficiary groups to the entire surf community.

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the official working trade association of more than {{{300}}} surf industry suppliers. Founded in 1989, SIMAis 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, edu- cational programs and research. In addition, SIMAactively supports oceanic environmental efforts through its 501(c)(3) charitable environmental foundation, the SIMAEnvironmental Fund. In the past 17 years, SIMA’s Environmental Fund has raised more than $3 million for environmental groups seeking to protect the world’s oceans, beaches and waves. The SIMAHumanitarian 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 organiza- tions whose efforts are focused on improving the quality of life, health and/or welfare of people.