Famed surfer, youth advocate Shaun Tomson: SCVB&GC Breakfast of Champions speaker

September 11, 2013
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly 

Santa Paula Times 

Surf’s up, or rather surfer is up with one of the world’s most famous wave riders who is the featured speaker at an upcoming special event. Shaun Tomson, considered one of the 10 greatest surfers of all time and famed advocate of youth, is the featured speaker at the September 18 Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley’s Breakfast of Champions.

Tomson, author of The Code: The Power of “I Will” and the earlier Surfer’s Code will speak at the free breakfast, an annual traditional marking the end of the club’s One Campaign. Breakfast of Champions will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the California Sports & Social Club located at 1064 E. Santa Paula Street.

Club Executive Director Jan Marholin said she first heard Tomson speak last year when Veneco’s Mary Beth Carty took her to the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara Breakfast of Champions where Tomson, a club board director, was the featured speaker. Tomson, said Marholin, “was dynamic,” and she asked if he would address local club supporters.

A professional surfer and former world champion, environmentalist, actor, author and businessman, Tomson learned to surf in his native South Africa. After dominating amateur surfing competition in South Africa, Tomson started venturing over to Hawaii in the late 60s. In 1969 an awestruck 14-year-old Tomson eyewitnessed the so-called “Biggest Wave Ever Ridden” by Californian Greg Noll at Makaha. 

Tomson has been listed as one of the 25 most influential surfers of the century and as one of the 10 greatest surfers of all time. During his career he was both the youngest and oldest surfer to win a pro event and is considered to be one of the architects of professional surfing.

Marholin said Tomson is “passionate about kids and the club,” and his books are written to inspire and motivate youth — especially those facing personal challenges. “He’s an advocate for youth, a nice guy, surfer, motivational speaker, a businessman and author just out there doing great things. Shaun’s a good person for kids to model,” including his title as “one of the greatest surfers of all time... that really gets the attention of kids!” 

Marholin is looking forward to Tomson’s address and the rest of the program that includes remarks by Youth of the Year Humberto Andrade and Alumni Mike Montoya, who not only attended B&GCSCV but also worked for the organization before becoming the Santa Paula High School football coach and teacher.

Marholin noted, “I’m also excited that John Chamberlain,” president of the Chamber of Commerce, “is going to be our master of ceremonies. Our lineup is really good and motivational. I’m hoping people understand the value of the club and give from their heart,” especially as funding on the state and federal level has decreased including the loss of the Community Development Block Grant allotment and a one-third reduction in a Justice Department grant.

The California Sports & Social Club will be decorated for the event including palm trees and draping that will make use of the natural light the building offers. DJ Catering will be preparing the full breakfast. 

“Breakfast of Champions” marks the end of the club’s annual One Campaign, which encouraged donors to “Be the one to make a difference in a child’s life!” Attendance at the “Breakfast of Champions” is by invitation only, although there is limited public seating available by reservation only.

The event is no cost but is also a fundraiser. For more information or to purchase tickets call the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley at 805-525-7910.





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