On Saturday, June 30, Grammy-winning rock band Switchfoot celebrated the 14th annual Switchfoot Bro-Am at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. The annual community celebration and charity event gathered over 15,000 people for the free Beach Fest and Surf Contest, which raised over $250,000 to benefit local youth initiatives through VH1 Save the Music Foundation, Feeding San Diego, Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), A Step Beyond, StandUp for Kids, and Rob Machado Foundation. Since the inaugural Bro-Am in 2005, the event has raised over $1.8 million for San Diego youth programs impacting homeless, at-risk and disadvantaged kids.
The beachfront concert included performances from Switchfoot, Colony House, Sure Sure, 91X Battle for the Bro-Am winner Inspired And The Sleep, and a very special appearance by local youth musicians from VH1 Save The Music Foundation who performed on stage with Switchfoot.
In addition to charitable giving and musical performances, the diverse and exciting event included a variety of surf contests. Team Surfin Fire, which included professional surfer Damien Hobgood, took the win for the Bro-Am Team Surf Contest, where a four- person team competes riding one wave regular and one wave switch (keeping it more “bro” than pro).
Other competitors included three-time world champion Tom Curren, world-renowned local surf legend Rob Machado and other professional surfers such as Josh Kerr, Timmy Curran, Yadin Nicol and Brett Simpson, along with numerous up and coming young surf stars.
The CAF Elite Surf Team took third place showcasing that their physical challenges don’t hold them back from competing with the best.
The winner of the Rob Machado Bro Junior Surf Contest, a contest that judges kids on who has the most fun, was Toby Dussalt.
One of the most inspirational moments of the day is the Challenged Athletes Foundation Kids’ Adaptive Surf Series where kids with physical challenges are given the opportunity to compete with surfers from the team contest supporting them in the water and thousands of spectators cheering them on. First place went to Landis Sims.
Bro-Am’s surf events wrapped with the hilarious Surf Joust Expression Session, complete with battle armor and nerf weapons on soft surfboards, with Kieran Anderson taking home the top prize.
Over 200 volunteers supported the event with many of them participating in waste diversion efforts to educate attendees on proper sorting of compost, recycle and landfill in partnership with the City of Encinitas and the Solana Center (a local environmental innovation organization). Bro-Am uses solar energy to power their stage and sound avoiding approximately 1,400 lbs. of CO2. And partnering with the Rob Machado Foundation, free refills of cold filtered water were provided to all attendees to host an event free of single-use plastic water bottles.
The Bro-Am kicked off with the Bro-Am Benefit Party hosted by Viasat on Thursday, June 28, gathering philanthropists and friends for an evening of local food and drinks, silent/live auctions and live performances.
“The Bro-Am is bigger than a rock band trying to do some good,” said Switchfoot lead singer Jon Foreman. “It’s a community of givers and doers who know that collaboration produces exponential impact. It’s the idea that giving can be fun and meaningful. It’s incredible to see our dream become bigger than we could’ve imagined. Surfing, music, raising funds for the next generation.”
In 2005, after traveling the world, Switchfoot dreamed up an idea to give back to their hometown that supported them as both surfers and musicians, to rally their great community and to invest in kids who might need a hand up. Fourteen years later, the Bro-Am has grown in impact and size, gathering over 17,000 people to the beach for surf contests, free beach concert and numerous vendor booths. The Switchfoot Bro-Am Foundation grants focus on initiatives that create a thriving future – physical and community well being along with opportunity and empowerment through music, art, surfing and education.
Beyond their career achievements and creation of Bro-Am, Switchfoot has also maintained a deep commitment to a variety of humanitarian causes, lending their support to such worthy organizations as Food for the Hungry, CURE International, DATA, the ONE Campaign, Habitat for Humanity, and To Write Love on Her Arms.
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