Longtime coastal defender Santa Barbara Surfrider hosted Martinis & Bikinis on January 12 at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum. The event, a fundraiser for the Surfrider chapter’s continuing battle against coastal land developers and environmental degradation, consisted of a fashion show featuring products from many local companies, with almost 300 people showing up for the fun.
Event organizers-including Matt Wallace, Mike Conway, Christine Cowles, Chapter Chair Scott Bull, and photographer Sarah Fretwell-were pleased to announce that the event raised nearly $14,000. They thanked the community and visitors for their support, and expressed optimism concerning the future of the now-pristine Gaviota Coast.
Part of the event’s success was due to the generosity of local sponsors such as Local surf shops and community designers Feisty Swimwear, The Beach House, Truman & Grace, The Bikini Factory, Asha Couture, Deckers, Happy Endings Apparel, Low Tide Rising Apparel, Super Buddha Clothing, Surf Country, J7 Surf, and Solitude. The 18 models-all locals-were styled by Salon U, who donated their services to do hair and make-up. Salon owner Joel Patrick also DJed the fashion show and party after local surf rock band “Kelp” entertained the crowd with kitschy 60s-style surf tunes.
Food was donated by Louie’s California Bistro, The Sojourner Cafe, Aldo’s Italian Restaurant, Quantum Kitchen & Cocktails, Duo Catering and Events, Village Modern Foods, and Trader Joe’s. p.i.n.k. Vodka donated enough bottles of vodka to fuel the martini bar, which featured special mixed drinks-“The Red Tide Pomegranate Martini,” “The Gaviota Grapefruit Martini” and “The SB Surfrider Classic Martini.” Milk & Honey Restaurant supplied bartenders. Twin Fin Wines, New Belgium Brewing Company beers, Babycham and Matilija Water also donated beverages for the night’s festivities.
The combination of donated goods and services and a raffle and silent auction sealed the financial success of Martinis & Bikinis, with prize winners walking away with items from the afore-mentioned sponsored. Event planners are already looking toward preparations for next year’s event.
Founded in 1984, the Surfrider Foundation is an environmental non-profit dedicated to the preservation of coastal resources and access. According to Santa Barbara Surfrider officials, they continue to challenge inappropriate development along the Gaviota coast, ensuring preservation of the rural character of the coast from urban sprawl.