US Fundraising Events
This summer, while we bundled up against the winter chill in Chile, the VSP held several fundraising events in the states. While our programming solely takes place in Chile, we can’t do what we do without the help of our friends up north. This year, we held fundraising events in New York City, Portland, Maine, Montauk, and San Francisco, each with a different format. As always, each was designed to engage friends of the program and share the good work we’re doing in Valparaiso.
Our summer kicked off with a silent auction in “The Big Apple”, sponsored by our friends Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Goslings Rum, Cafe Un Deux Trois, and Los Andes Bakery. We’ve held events in New York since our inception, so there were some friendly faces in attendance, as well as some new ones. While those unfamiliar with surfing might think New York a strange place to hold such an event, those in-the-know are aware of the thriving urban surf scene in the city. Nick Napolitano, our programming coordinator, loves the icicles that form on his glorious beard while surfing near New York and hopes you will too.
We followed up this successful event with a sunset sail in Portland, Maine. Rainy weather may have blocked the setting sun, but it didn’t dampen (sorry) the group’s spirits as they enjoyed the nautical pleasures of sailing. Sailing is a big part of Wiley Todd’s life and the ocean is a big part of all of our lives, so it was a real pleasure to enjoy the deep blue sea with friends and one past intern of VSP (looking at you Varun). During the group sail, the entire crew enjoyed food and drinks from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Goslings Rum, Flatbread Pizza Company, B. Good, and Tuscan Table.
The Portland event was followed up by our inaugural silent auction at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, New York. Local artists and members of the greater New York surf community donated various items to our silent auction and Diplomaticó Rum graciously provided a tasting to wet the palate. Montauk (right next to Amagansett), long regarded as the hub of surfing in the Northeast, welcomed us with open arms and shared a lot of stoke for the project. We can’t wait to return and continue developing friendships within the East coast surfing community.
Despite being based on the East coast and conducting most of our fundraising there, we do our best to visit friends out West each year. This year, we held a dinner in San Francisco hosted by Cala, a Mexican seafood restaurant run by a college friend of John, Wiley, and Henry, our founders. Those in attendance enjoyed a most definitely ‘rico’ Mexican dinner and, I imagine, debated the relative merits of each coast when not discussing the work we’re doing in Chile. I’ve heard it’s definitely chill over there. We will be back soon enough to enjoy the pleasant weather and expand our network on the West coast.
We are so thankful for all of our good friends in the United States, who make everything we do possible. We’d especially like to thank the hard work of James Lundt, Alex & Maddy Agnew, Rob Pitts, and Emma Rosenbush. Since the inception of the VSP, we’ve relied upon friends and family to continue our work in Chile and are so grateful for the continued support. While our kids may not fully understand all the ins and outs of our operations, they are truly thankful for all the work and support that make our project possible. We hope the new website will give you all a clearer look at all the work we’re doing and the amazing students we’re working with.