On Saturday morning, February 22, 2014 approximately seventy (70) surfers showed their stuff in the waves just south of Steel Pier while raising money for The Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation.
The air temperature was in the low 40's according to the National Weather Service with an Atlantic Ocean water temperature at 38 degrees at noon could prove to be enough to discourage any water lover. However, that didn't even phase the east coast surfer devotees from doing what they love for a great cause.
The surfers were taking part in the “Freeze For A Cause,” which is now in its 5th year. According to project organizer Paul Guinta, this was the largest turnout to date since the event had previously never drawn more than thirty surfers.
Anytime you have an event like this you must also have the support of the local community. Atlantic City police gave permission to a large group of people allowing them to bring their cars and trucks to park on the beach. Spectators and participants made for a rather large winter time crowd on the beach not including the spectators sitting on the deck of Margaritaville restaurant.
The Somers Point based foundation was founded in 2001 when Randazzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes. Randazzo, a professional surfer originally from Atlantic City, has fought off the disease four times, while still surfing professionally.
The annual tradition that began in 2009 is New Jersey’s only extreme cold water surfing contest and includes five categories for men and women. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation, which has donated more than $450,000 to individuals battling cancer, support organizations and for cancer research.
“It’s unbelievable,” Guinta offered. “the support from the surfing community is just overwhelmingly positive.” The organization hoped to raise at least $10,000 from this years event.
The Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation promotes cancer awareness and assists individuals battling cancer both emotionally and financially. To date, the foundation has donated more than $450,000 to individuals and organizations including the Ruth Newman Shapiro Cancer Fund, Shore Medical Center Cancer Center, Gilda’s Club of South Jersey and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of South Jersey Cape Regional Cancer Center and AtlantiCare Cancer Center.
Freeze for a Cause winners : The results of the 2014 Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation’s Freeze For A Cause are:
1st: Kali Emery, 26, of Manahawkin, Stafford Township
2nd: Justine Aguiar, 16, of Margate
3rd: Aspen Lawler, 16, of Longport
1st: Perry Siganos, 17, Longport
2nd: Mike Vanaman, 13, Sicklerville, Winslow Township
3rd: Stephen Zarkoff, 12, Hainesport Township
1st: Frank Levin, 44, Somers Point
2nd: Mike Dewald, 55, Cape May Court House
3rd: Josh Williams, 36, of Atlantic City
1st: Ben Graeff, 25, of Longport
2nd: Kevin Dewald, 23, Cape May Court House
3rd: Alex DePhillipo, 28, of Margate
1st: Eric Becker, 46, Upper Township
2nd: Kevin DeWald, 23, Cape May Court House
3rd: Josh Williams, 36, Atlantic City