Surfrider Presents: The 9th Annual John Kelly Environmental Awards Party

On Saturday, December 3rd, the Surfrider Foundation’s O’ahu Chapter will present the 9th Annual John Kelly Environmental Achievement Awards. The celebration will be held at Waimea Valley Pavilion and will feature live music from the Intire Project and a few surprise guests
When Dec 03, 2011
from 09:00 PM to 01:30 AM
Contact Name
Contact Phone 808-783-1407
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On Saturday, December 3rd, the Surfrider Foundation’s O’ahu Chapter will present the 9th Annual John Kelly Environmental Achievement Awards.  The celebration will be held at Waimea Valley Pavilion and will feature live music from the Intire Project and a few surprise guests. Tickets are $60 for general admission, $75 at the door and sponsor tables begin at $750.  All proceeds will benefit Surfrider’s O’ahu Chapter and their efforts to preserve our coasts.

The ceremony is in honor of John Kelly, the legendary waterman and environmental leader who started Save Our Surf and fought to protect Hawai‘i’s coastlines from overdevelopment.  Kelly and SOS helped to save 140 surf sites on O’ahu and around the state, while also stopping many destructive developments.  Following in his wake, Surfrider’s O’ahu Chapter has worked with other organizations to help preserve Pūpūkea-Paumalu (aka, Save Sunset Beach), Kaka’ako Park and Waimea Valley.

The party will feature spirits from Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and a variety of local beers courtesy of Kona Brewing Company.  Other sponsors include RevoluSun, Scott & Dee Thomas at Surf For Hugs, Green Magazine and Nella Media Group. Former Lifetime Achievement Award winner Mark Cunningham will serve as the evening’s emcee. This year’s awardees have done inspiring work to bring about positive changes in their communities while also protecting our marine environment.

Cora Sanchez will be given the Lifetime Achievement Award for her efforts in helping to create the Pūpūkea-Waimea Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD).  Cora was also a co-founder of Surfrider’s O’ahu Chapter (along with former winner Peter Cole) and the Friends of Shark’s Cove.  She has worked tirelessly to help protect the North Shore’s coastlines and “Keep the Country Country!”

The Kona Brewing Company will receive the Environmentally Friendly Hawai‘i-Based Company Awardfor their role in promoting sustainable practices at all their facilities and advocating for coastal preservation.  The company helps organize the Kona Brewers Festival, which raises money for educational, environmental and cultural organizations.  Along with installing solar and using recycled building materials at their facilities, Kona Brewing Company continues to support local efforts to protect beaches and coastlines across Hawai‘i.

Kyle Thiermann will be given the Professional Surfer Award for creating a five-part video series, Surfing for Change, to encourage individuals to change their life habits to help save the environment. Kyle’s video “Where Is Away? Solving Plastic Pollution in 4 Minutes” shows how wasteful and destructive single-use plastics are to the marine environment and encourages people to bring their own reusable bags and bottles.

Held each year in honor of John Kelly, the Awards Ceremony honors those individuals and organizations that have followed in his footsteps and continued his legacy of environmental leadership. Below is a list of previous winners, all of whom are invited to attend the event:

Previous Winners

Lifetime Achievement               Hawai‘i-Based Company                   Professional Surfer

2010            Mark Cunningham                          Honolulu Weekly                                        Duane DeSoto

2009            Yvon Chouinard                             Bill Braden                                                  The Malloy Brothers

2008            Shaun Tomson                                Styrophobia                                                 Dave Rastovich

2007            Randy Rarick                                  Pacific Biodiesel                                         James Pribram

2006            Peter Cole                                       Schnitzer Steel Hawai‘i                              Pancho Sullivan

2005            Larry McElheny                              Jack Johnson/Brushfire Records                Rochelle Ballard

2004            George Downing                            Oceanit                                                        Kelly Slater

2003            John Kelly                                       Patagonia-Haleiwa                                      Rob Machado

Tickets can be purchased online at the O’ahu Chapter’s website:  Sponsor tables can be reserved online as well. For more information on the event and on sponsoring a table please contact Amanda Corby at

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.  Originally founded in 1984 by a group of visionary surfers, the Surfrider Foundation is now in its 27th year and has grown to more than 80 chapters and 250,000 supporters, activists and members. The O’ahu Chapter focuses on the issues of beach access, water quality, coastal preservation and plastic marine debris. For more information about Surfrider and the John Kelly Awards, please visit

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