Taylor Knox‘s intention last Thursday night was to raise money for shark attack victim Leanne Ericson’s medical bills, while sharing his love for bonzer surfboards, with a showing in his hometown Carlsbad of the short film “Wi-5”.
Knox succeeded on both counts. Tickets were sold out, attendance numbering 300 people, each paying $20 per head towards Leanne’s expenses. And the film was well-received, Knox’s power surfing proving beyond a doubt the ability of the bonzer to hold its own in a variety of conditions.
The evening, in short, was going smoothly and well, right up until the raffle portion, which ended with a gentleman named Jack Seymour winning the very board that Knox rode in the film. Seymour came onto the stage, not to claim the board, it turned out, but to propose auctioning it to further help Leanne.
Seymour opened the bid at $1,000, at which the room fell uneasily silent. The board was going once, going twice… a hand raised at the back of the room, bidding $1,100. The crowd turned to look at three-time World Champion Mick Fanning. His audacious move got things rolling, with Hurley Marketing head Evan Slater and Salina Cruz surf camp proprietor Mark Arico jumping in. The auction ended with Fanning winning the board, for $2,200.
The auction was not the last surprise to come out of the evening. When Knox told Erickson the good news the following day, she asked that the proceeds be given instead to Kawika Matsu, a Hawaiian paddleboarder who had also been attacked by a shark and had been hospitalized in Florida till last week.
From Taylor Knox to the 300 who attended the fundraiser, to Mick Fanning and to Leanne Erickson, it was an occasion of generous giving, and of the surfing community coming together to look after its own.
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