When the early afternoon tide is low, participants in the Surfing Madonna "Save the Ocean" 5K/10K line up waterside on Moonlight Beach. The scenic run takes athletes of all stripes along the shore to their respective 5k and 10k turnaround points, at which point they must loop back to the finish. Each runner has three hours to complete his or her route, which features aid stations stocked with food and drink along the way. The top 20 male and female finishers divvy up $8,000 worth of prize money, while the top ladies and gents in each age division receive handmade mosaic medals by artist Mark Patterson.
Those awards are distributed during the run’s all-day after party, where vendors supply free snacks and drinks as live music resounds across the shore. In addition to awards for the race, the after-party includes a presentation of $20,000 in scholarships to local students. Likewise, Surfing Madonna—a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the world’s oceans—donates an additional $20,000 to local beach- and ocean-related projects, which are voted for by race participants.
H2O Trash Patrol has a singular mission: to keep sand and water free of trash. The nonprofit was borne out of a family exercise in picking up debris from the beach, but the influx of garbage was soon too much to keep up with. So H2O Trash Patrol was formed, and its members float atop the waters in and around San Diego county waterways on standup-paddleboards, lampooning marine debris before sorting them and recycling what they can. H2O Trash Patrol's goals are big. Its 50-50-50 challenge aims to clean 50 waterways in 50 states over the course of 50 days, and its efforts have been recognized by the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation, which gave the organization an Environmental Hero Award in 2011.
To raise funds for its mission, H2O Trash Patrol offers standup-paddleboarding lessons to the uninitiated, teaching pupils how to balance, paddle, and maneuver their boards as they cruise on flat water. Lessons traverse the coast at various locales such as Oceanside Harbor, Carlsbad Lagoon, and San Diego Bay.
Occurring at the Fresh Start Clinic on January 14–15, Fresh Start's Surgery Weekend program treats low-income and uninsured patients in need of intense reconstructive surgery. Throughout the weekend, volunteer medical professionals conduct dental treatments, laser treatments, speech therapy, and reconstructive surgeries with consultations and long-term postoperative appointments for approximately 60 infants, children, and teens. Fresh Start still needs help funding surgeries and follow-ups, along with transportation and food for children and their families, with an overall goal of $1,200 to fund all of the medical supplies for the entire weekend free of charge for any child who needs a surgery.