?Chris Byrne went on a winning streak Saturday at the Surfboards on Parade
art auction, bringing home five one-of-a-kind boards designed by teams
of renowned artists and shapers.
His home now hosts a mini-gallery, complete with a sculpture of a mermaid
on a board occupying the center of the dining table. And yet, the Huntington
Beach resident had more than home improvements in mind when he offered
his bids, the bulk of which funded the cancer institute at Hoag Hospital.
When Byrne’s daughter was born nearly three decades ago, she had
an unusual condition that required a white blood cell transfusion. Hoag
had thetechnology to perform the procedure, and Byrne credits it with
saving her life.
“If Hoag Hospital wasn’t around when she was born, I don’t
think she’d be with us,” Byrne said.
With lives on the line, any dollar can make a difference, and there were
plenty of dollars raised Saturday at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort
in Huntington. The Night of a Million Waves Gala and Art Auction, which
concluded the Surfboards on Parade citywide event, garnered more than
$100,000, according to event manager Jodi McKay.
All 28 specially designed surfboards found buyers during the auction,
which was emceed by veteran surfer Peter “PT” Townend, with
Zack Krone serving as auctioneer. Proceeds from the auction, presented
by the Rotary Club of Huntington Beach, went toHoag as well as Rotary,
the International Surfing Museum and the Huntington Beach Art Center.
Since January, the boards had been exhibited at locations around Huntington
Beach, including the Hilton, Shorebreak Hotel and Hyatt Regency Huntington
Beach. The campaign commemorated the 100th anniversary of the introduction
of surfing to the city, when Hawaiian athlete George Freeth demonstrated
his craft at the pier.
When Tom Anderson bought one of his two boards Saturday, he got surfing
as part of the deal. The Newport Beach resident, who works in commercial
property management, won the board created by two veterans of the classic
surf documentary “The Endless Summer”: shaper Robert August,
who starred in the film, and John Van Hamersveld, who designed its poster.
To sweeten the prize during the auction, August threw a surfing excursion
to Costa Rica. Anderson said he and August haven’t discussed the
particulars yet, but Thanksgiving might be an option.
“I have not surfed in probably seven or eight years,” he said.
“But I think surfing is like riding a bicycle. Once you learn, you