Industry News 1/10/2005

Community Bands Together at ASR to Help Fund SurfAid’s Tsunami Relief Effort

Action Sports Community “Bands Together” at ASR through Wristband Sales to Help Fund SurfAid’s Tsunami Relief Effort

Laguna Beach, CA (January 7, 2005) – The entire action sports industry is mobilizing a massive fundraiser for the tsunami victims as they converge at ASR in San Diego, January 14-16th. Giving back through SurfAid International, a non-profit organization that is already established with doctors and boats in the region and currently engaging in relief efforts, the entire campaign is expected to raise significant funds for the cause.

ASR, in conjunction with Board Retailer Association (BRA), Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA), International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) and SurfAid International, will raise funds by selling black tsunami relief wristbands stating “Band Together” at $5 each. The bands will be available to ASR attendees, including retailers and manufacturers in the surf, skate, swim, and snow markets, throughout the San Diego Convention Center.  With over 20,000 industry professionals attending the 3-day show, organizers expect the action sports community to rise to the occasion supporting SurfAid International’s current efforts in Southeast Asia. One hundred percent of the funds will be utilized to support SurfAid’s work in the region.

“The SurfAid organization, which grew out of the surfing community, is a natural fit to provide much needed help to the devastated areas.”  David Loechner, President of VNU Sports Group. “ASR, along with our other partners SIMA, BRA, and IASC, are working to give back to the hard hit communities that have generously hosted thousands of surf tourists over the years.”

"SurfAid exemplifies the idea of giving back to a place that gives you so much," says Mikke Pierson Co-owner of ZJ’s Boarding House and Board Member of SurfAid International. "With the help of the surf and skate industry and ASR, we will be able to better help the people in their time of most urgent need."

SurfAid International (www.surfaidinternational.org) is a health focused NGO which has been operating in the Mentawai Islands, off West Sumatra, for the past four years. SurfAid’s doctors speak the language(s), and some of the staff is indigenous.  The organization has strong links with local surfing communities, many of whom are well established on Nias Island, Indonesia’s West Sumatra Province. There they principally work to prevent communicable disease through malaria control and immunization through a direct implementation approach. SurfAid has strong working relationships with local communities, regional, provincial and central Health Departments, and the World Health Organization.

Outdoor Retailer, ASR’s sister show and another part of the VNU Expo Sports Group, is also joining the “Band Together” tsunami relief effort.  OR will contribute funds through the sale of wristbands to its attendees made up of top manufacturers, retailers, industry advocates and media specializing in outdoor recreation, international travel and all business of the outdoors at Outdoor Retailer Trade Expo January 28 – February 1 in Salt Lake City.

In addition, ASR and Outdoor Retailer parent company, VNU, contributed €200,000 to Cooperating Relief Organizations, an international organization to coordinate relief efforts among such groups as the International Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam, and UNICEF, among others. Additionally, VNU is establishing a fund to provide long-term aid to the victims by matching contributions from its staff of 35,000 employees worldwide.