UCSD LONGBOARD LUAU this Sunday August 24th


Moores UCSD Cancer center Luau & Longboard Invitational

celebrates 15 years OF “surfing for a cure” on August 24

Pfizer la jolla is this year’s title sponsor

La Jolla, California, August 7, 2008 – The Moores UCSD Cancer Center today announced the 15th Annual Luau & Longboard Invitational will be held at The Scripps Institution of Oceanography on August 24, 2008 beginning at 7 a.m. The Luau & Longboard Invitational has established a unique international reputation for combining the “aloha” spirit of surfing with the business and scientific community in the fight against cancer.

The event brings together some of the most respected men and women in surfing history with business leaders, scientists, physicians and cancer patients to increase awareness and raise much-needed funds for cancer research. All of the proceeds from the Luau & Longboard Invitational are donated to the Center’s leading research programs.

Over the past 14 years, we have been able to contribute over $2.6 million to the Moores UCSD Cancer Center,” said Tori Pitruzello, co-chair of the event. “Our support of one of the top comprehensive cancer care and research institutes in the nation helps translate promising discoveries into better treatment options for cancer patients.”

The public is welcome to watch the Longboard Invitational, a surfing tournament where the emphasis is on participation and support for the cause rather than an individual’s surfing ability. Each of the sponsored teams of five, including an assigned surfing legend, vies for traditional trophies.

In the afternoon, the Luau presents Polynesian dancing, bands, live and silent auctions, featuring surf memorabilia, and a ceremony to honor the winner of the Rell Sunn – Queen of Makaha Award. The Rell Sunn award, which goes every year to an individual for his or her dedication to helping others in the fight against cancer in ways that embody the true “aloha” spirit, will be presented to Doris A. Howell, M.D., founder of San Diego Hospice and namesake of the palliative care consultation service at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center.

We believe that collectively we can beat cancer and that is part of the ‘aloha’ spirit of the Luau,” said Ian Pyka, co-chair of the event. “Together, we can help more people be cancer survivors.”


Tori Pitruzello and Ian Pyka also are pleased to announce that Pfizer has supported the event since 2001 and is title sponsor of this year’s Luau & Longboard Invitational.

As part of its title sponsorship, Pfizer supports its own team of surfing scientists as well as a Thriver’s Team in the longboarding competition comprised of surfers who have successfully fought cancer.

"Pfizer continues to investigate new treatments for cancer, an area of high unmet medical need," said Catherine Mackey, Ph.D., site director, Pfizer La Jolla. "We are very pleased to once again support the Luau & Longboard Invitational. This event is a time for all of us to celebrate medical advances in this area, renew our commitment to finding new therapies and demonstrate our support and respect for the survivors who are joining us today."

The Luau & Longboard Committee also will present the 2nd Annual “Survivor Beach” on August 10, as a way to raise awareness for cancer research. This free public event brings the community together in support of cancer research and to honor all individuals in their fight against cancer. Scheduled at 8 a.m. at the beach near Scripps Pier in La Jolla, participants will attempt to set a record for the longest line of surfboards.

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 Luau’s Web site at

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