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California Surf Museum – 14th Annual Gala Recap 2022

“Mickey Muñoz holds Yvon’s Silver Surfer award which he will present to Yvon, while Kathy and Bing clutch their awards.” photo courtesy of Lance Smith

On the last clear, glowing evening of daylight saving time on Saturday, November 5, the CSM Gala once again continued its forward momentum in the post-covid reality. A full house at the Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach venue in Carlsbad saw a return to the annual rhythm of mingling against the backdrop of music, conversation, laughter, photo-snapping cell phones, and a stunning ocean horizon sunset. The crowd swelled and flowed from the outer terrace to the inside hallway that hosted an amazing offering of silent auction items.

photos courtesy of Becka Vance

It seems like a deep cycle comfort level is defining our annual Gala fundraisers where those who are in love with surfing can share the joy of being surrounded by like-minded surfers. Certainly a tribal experience, this unique event that celebrates our museum’s objectives, mission, and honorees is fast becoming the Academy Awards night for the surfing world.

photos courtesy of Becka Vance

This year marked the tenth presentation of the Silver Surfer Award. Twenty-eight banners, showcasing our 25 previous honorees and this year’s three, lined the long hallway entrance to the Gala. Many guests stopped to take their photo with their favorite surfer and just about all took time to view each banner.

The 2022 honorees of Yvon Chouinard, Kathy Kohner Zuckerman aka “Gidget,” and the mighty Bing Copeland all took a step toward surfing legend status and secured their own coveted Silver Surfer Award. They join a growing and compelling list of surfing greats that is defining the best qualities of surf culture personalities and sport contributors.

Presenting and accepting the Silver Surfer award for Yvon, Mickey Muñoz (a legend in his own right yet alas no blood relationship to me……) entertained and informed us of the adventures and drive of his friend. A huge personality in the surfing world and far beyond, Yvon’s motivation and contribution to our sport was entertainingly outlined by Mickey. In addition, I think many in attendance felt that Mickey looked quite natural holding that Silver Surfer award in his hand, his words and presence overflowing with positive energy.

photo courtesy of Terry Kraszewski

Presenting for Kathy, our very own real life Gidget, was Brian Gillogly. She dominated the stage with unfiltered stoke and surf passion that only she could bring to the Gala. What an amazing bit of authentic surf history she brings and shares to the world, all from that nice rolling pointbreak up the road at Malibu that changed the scope and direction of so many people near and far. Reading and teasing tidbits of her personal diary, she provided unique moments of personal memories that have impacted many through the Gidget character that is based on her actual time in the water, on the beach, and on those peeling point waves.

Then the final presentation by Brian Logan introduced Bing Copeland. I bet many in the Gala crowd received a significant education about the high-performance world of Bing. From LA County’s South Bay, he was a surfer, shaper, Coast Guardsman, business man and family man. A repeated and evident theme was his integrity and dedication to excellence and fondness for his crew and even business competitors. Bing addressed the Gala with a tone full of calm satisfaction and sincerity for his time to be honored as a CSM Silver Surfer recipient.

Of course the night also included the highly energized live auction where surfboards shaped by Fletcher Chouinard in honor of Yvon, and Jim Phillips, Roger Hinds, Wayne Rich, and Bob Mitsven in honor of Bing’s popular shapes, which along with the silent auction, helped raise funds which go to CSM’s operational and exhibit budgets. CSM President Jim Kempton and Board member Shea Roney provided their usual brand of top-notch emcee duties in combination with Chris Coté who absolutely lit up the live auction energy level as he does every year.

Another live auction item were two home-cooked dinners by CSM President Jim Kempton and CBS8 TV weatherman/surfer Shawn Styles. Each was a separate item and the dueling bids ended up at the same amount. The bidding was an entertaining moment that generated more money for the museum thanks to the culinary talents and generosity of Jim and Shawn.

photo courtesy of Lance Smith
slideshow courtesy of Joe Willix