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Moores UCSD Cancer Center Luau & Longboard Invitational Celebrates 16 Years of 'Surfing for a Cure' to Raise Funds for Cancer Research
Date:7/27/2009

LA JOLLA, Calif., July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- For the past 16 years, beachgoers have been invited to watch respected surfers, business leaders, community members and cancer survivors "surfing for a cure" at the annual Moores UCSD Cancer Center Luau & Longboard Invitational held at UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Now, members of the general public have the opportunity to participate in the Longboard Invitational portion of the event that takes place on Sunday, August 23 beginning at 7 a.m.

"The Longboard Luau is a one-of-a-kind event that allows everyone to come together to share in the 'aloha' spirit and raise money for a good cause," said event co-chair Jessica Yingling. "It's one of the most successful surfing fundraisers in the world, and to date has raised more than $3 million for research at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. By inviting more people to participate, we hope the event can be an even greater success."

In previous years, the surf teams were sponsored by companies and comprised of four team members selected by sponsors as well as a randomly selected surf "legend." New this year, individuals interested in competing in the invitational can also earn a spot on a team - side-by-side with a surf legend - by fundraising through Active.com. Anyone interested in joining a team must commit to raising $2,500, which will earn them a coveted spot in the competition as well as two tickets to the Luau.

"Many people have asked how to get involved and how to do more," said John Kay, event co-chair. "There was so much interest we decided it would be a good idea to open up the competition to the public and let more people have the chance to participate. We're really excited to be able to offer this."

The tournament will take place at Scripps Pier in La Jolla beginning at 7 a.m. and continue for most of the morning. Teams will compete for trophies, but the emphasis is not on skill level but rather participation and support for cancer research. Following the invitational, a ceremonial conch will be blown at 11:30 a.m. to signal the beginning of the luau, which will feature a sumptuous buffet, live music and traditional Polynesian dance presentations as well as live and silent auctions. Another highlight of the event is the presentation of the Rell Sunn "Queen of Makaha" Award, which was established in memory of Sunn, a Hawaiian surfer and longtime Luau & Longboard Invitational supporter who lost her battle to breast cancer. This year's recipient is David Easter, M.D., director of the General Surgery Residency Program at UC San Diego.

For the second year in a row, Pfizer will continue its support as title sponsor of the event. As part of their sponsorship, the pharmaceutical company will support its own team of surfing scientists as well as the Thrivers' Team, which is comprised of surfers who have successfully fought cancer.

"We are proud to support and participate in the Luau and Longboard Invitational again this year," said Catherine Mackey, Ph.D., Site Director of Pfizer's R&D facility in La Jolla. "We salute the researchers at Moores UCSD Cancer Center and Pfizer La Jolla for their innovative research into the causes and cures for cancer."

The surfing competition is free for viewing; a ticket to the luau fundraiser is $150. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, team entries, tickets and event activities, contact the Moores UCSD Cancer Center at (858) 822-0023, or visit the event website at http://www.longboardluau.org.

Giving to Moores UCSD Cancer Center

The Moores UCSD Cancer Center is dedicated to translating promising scientific discoveries into new and better options for the care of patients with cancer. Founded in 1979, it is the only center in San Diego and Imperial counties to hold a National Cancer Center Institute designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is one of just 41 such centers in the United States. As such, it ranks among the top centers in the nation conducting basic and clinical cancer research, providing advanced patient care, and serving the community through outreach and education programs. The Moores UCSD Cancer Center must increasingly rely on financial support from private sources to pursue groundbreaking research and innovative programs. Your generous support helps its physicians and scientists find ways to defeat cancer and continue to provide the most compassionate care possible to patients and families. For more information, please call 858-822-0175 or visit www.cancer.ucsd.edu.

About Pfizer La Jolla

Pfizer La Jolla is one of Pfizer's major research and development sites around the globe. The 33.5-acre fully integrated R&D campus includes eight buildings, totaling more than 1 million square feet, with specialized laboratories and equipment for structural and computational biology, molecular design, high throughput chemistry and pharmacology. Approximately 1,000 scientists and staff at the site focus on three areas: Discovering and developing new medicines to treat many forms of cancer; Progressing compounds in the clinic for diseases of the eye (e.g. glaucoma and macular degeneration); and, discovering novel prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for the prevention and treatment of significant human maladies (in the areas of cancer and central nervous system diseases). In early 2006, the FDA approved Sutent(R), a drug developed at Pfizer La Jolla for treating rare forms of intestinal and kidney cancers. Its novel mechanism both cuts off the blood supply to the cancer and destroys cellular reproduction.


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SOURCE The Moores UCSD Cancer Center Luau & Longboard Invitational
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