Time to put on your best flip-flops, grab the sunscreen, and go support the local surf community and National Kidney Foundation! Taking place on September 1st through the 4th, the 32nd Annual NKF Rich Salick Pro-Am Surf Festival at the Cocoa Beach Pier is the largest charitable surfing tournament in the world. A three-day event chock-full of activities, the schedule includes professional and amateur surfing competitions, stand-up paddleboard and tandem competitions, and a variety of food and entertainment.
The festival begins with a Registration Party on Friday at Keith's Oyster Bar, and ends with the final heats and award ceremony on Monday. Festivities include a Hawaiian Luau performance and dinner, and surf movie on Saturday, and the "Taste of Brevard and Silent Auction" at the Radisson Resort at the Port on Sunday. All proceeds go to the NKF of Florida to increase awareness of kidney disease, and support programs in patient services, research, public and professional education, and organ donation.
The NKF Surf Festival was originally created by Richard K. Salick. Richard was a 23-year-old, world-class professional surfer when his kidneys failed. Fortunately, he had a very willing donor for a kidney transplant—his identical twin brother, Phil. Only two years out from his kidney transplant, he began focusing attention on the plights of other kidney patients. That year, he and his brother put together their first surfing competition at Cocoa Beach. The first event raised $125 and a year later they raised $1,600, which they personally hand-delivered to dialysis centers.
In 1985, at the urging of Craig Tisher, Region 2 Vice-President of the National Kidney Foundation, the event took on national sponsorship and became the NKF Florida Team Invitational Pro-Am Surfing Tournament. The first sponsored event grossed more than $60,000, seeding the NKF Research Endowment Fund. To date, this event has raised over $4 million, and every year, thousands of people attend the tournament and enjoy the festivities.
On July 2nd, 2012, hundreds of people around the world mourned Richard K. Salick, who passed away during emergency surgery. The 27th annual event was renamed in his honor to the NKF Rich Salick Pro-Am Surfing Festival. The legacy and memory will live on in each and every person that Richard inspired during his lifetime.
For more information, please visit www.nkfsurf.com or call 1-800-927-9659.