Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sumner Longboarders 20th Birthday Celebration Weekend

The commemorative chocolate cake

Great ideas sometimes come in a flash, sometimes they are organic and grow and sometimes the stars all align and lots of disparate things just gravitate towards each other. The latter was the case with the brilliant weekend just experienced by the Sumner Longboarders and friends to celebrate their 20th anniversary as a formal club.

Annie Bermingham turned on the light when she realised last year the clubs 20th anniversary was coming up. The committee had already decided to have an art auction in 2012 to help raise funds for the club, but it was deferred – Hey! Why not combine the 2 events ? – Steve Andrews suggested we didn’t need the money and should give it away – a few members put their hands up!!! – Dean Hollingworth had personal experience of the worth of Make-A-Wish New Zealand, a charity that grants the wishes of children with life threatening conditions. Suddenly we had a project…

The original aim of the weekend was to have some fun and bring together a few of the past and present members in a low key relatively low effort weekend – essentially a party and maybe a surf. The focus had however changed and the art auction fund raiser suddenly meant we needed to ramp up the planning into real, viable and attractive operation – fast.

Key sponsorships and support were now required to make this weekend live up to expectations and ensure it did not end up costing the club a packet. Step up Seventhwave who took on the naming rights for the Seventhwave Charity Art Auction. This was a massive boost to our planning and allowed us to move forward knowing we had a keystone sponsor.

Roger Kay the auctioneer with assistants: Pete Mannix and Tim Clemence
The bidders

The weekend kicked off on Friday with the Surfing Tribe & Sadhana Surfboards movie night at the Hollywood Theatre with wine cheese and to a retro clip from Crystal Voyager to the soundtrack of Pink Floyd “Echoes’ which “set the retro” theme for the weekend. Si Brown then stepped up and provided a short (for Si) intro to the NZ premier of “Sprout” a masterpiece of traditional surfing from Thomas Campbell, a movie that kept all entranced – so long as you were a surfer !
Saturday saw the main event take shape – around 4 pm the Ferrymead Golf club was transformed into a glitzy warm and inviting venue to help folks part with their money. The Funky Hot Mamas warmed the crowd up, Annie and JT arrived in the disco kit, the drinks flowed, Dean focused everyone on the aim of the auction and Roger Kay the auctioneer got things rolling…. Successful? You bet your backside – a crowd of around 100 were competing for 70 items and it was fierce – my wife was even spotted bidding against herself in order to get a piece of the action!  Some great art and product changed hands, the final piece, the 2x2.5m event banner donated by Mark at Signmark signaled the end of the bidding.
The evening wound up with everybody grinning, all full from a feisty feast and most packing their car with arty type takeaways - obviously having had a ball.

The red hot, red team captained by Pete Mannix
Sunday – strong off shore- overcast – Quane replica Old Mals – 2 to 3 foot surf – perfect. The 5 former club captains Pete Mannix, Chris Tillson, Steve Andrews, Trev Smith and Grant Cochrane ( standing in for Dave Oswald who had a calendar malfunction) led teams of 7 in a quick fire tag team contest sponsored by Mainland Paints. It was simply a brilliant event – fast paced, good surfing, lots of lobbying and judge abuse and overall high jinks.
Although surfing was the winner on the day, for the record Chris Tillson’s green team took out he event.
Thanks also to North Wai Boardriders who loaned us one of their boards for the event.

The weekend wrap up/wind down fittingly took place at the Headless Mexican restaurant hosted yet again by Glen and Tanya who have provided clubrooms for us for 20 years.

The outcome: all aims achieved and more. Some unexpected but rather pleasant benefits also evolved from the weekend

In summary
·       A grand total of $6,591 was donated to Make-A-Wish
·       We had a great time and a lot of laughs
·       The club profile received a good and positive boost
·       We formed some relationships with the Sumner/Surf community we did not have beforehand
·       We have had a boost in membership both old and young
·       Club camaraderie is strong and everyone is ‘feelin’ good ‘

So thanks to all members, sponsors, supporters, makers, bakers and money movers and shakers … kind of thinking we should do it again in a wee while!

Weekend sponsored by:

Seventhwave Wetsuits
Surfing tribe (on Facebook)
Mainland Paints

Sadhana Surfboards

Aumoana Surf Shop

The Headless Mexican Restaurant

Quane Longboards
A1 Screenprint 

Now it's your turn to support the sponsors!

Pete Mannix
Sumner Longboarders

Sumner Longboarders are always welcoming new members. Find out more about the club at

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