BIG Kahuna Beachfest in South Mission Beach set to return
by JEN PFEILER
Published - 06/23/21 - 07:15 AM | 15839 views | 4 4 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sign up for a spot to play 4-person beach volleyball or 3-person basketball at BIG Kahuna Beachfest. All skill levels are welcome and participants are encouraged to dress in costume with their teams. COURTESY PHOTO
Sign up for a spot to play 4-person beach volleyball or 3-person basketball at BIG Kahuna Beachfest. All skill levels are welcome and participants are encouraged to dress in costume with their teams. COURTESY PHOTO
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San Diego Beach Improvement Group (BIG) might be a small nonprofit organization, but it has big goals – starting with several beautification projects in South Mission Beach. According to SD BIG’s president, Laura Hendrickson, she and a group of individuals began raising money to maintain the beach’s volleyball courts in 2002. 

“It was naturally a good fit for me,” Hendrickson said. “I have a lifelong passion for volleyball and I always wanted to do some community service and so it was serendipitous that I found it.”

Hendrickson later made the nonprofit official in 2007. Since then, SD BIG (sandiegobig.org) has completed several other projects, including resurfacing the basketball court in 2009 and partnering with other organizations for beach clean-ups. Hendrickson said they remove up to 200 pounds of trash from the beach every month.

In 2020, SD BIG began fundraising to repair the basketball court again. At the time there was a large crack in the court, which the City’s Parks and Recreation Department stepped in to fix to avoid liabilities. According to Hendrickson, while the crack has been repaired, the court must still be resurfaced. Hendrickson estimated the remainder of the project would cost BIG $6,000 to $8,000 if they receive enough donations to complete it.

“Sometimes because we’re a nonprofit we can get the projects done faster and with less money [than the city],” Hendrickson said.

Currently, SD BIG is focused on growing its team, attracting more members, and creating awareness in the local community. 

“We’re working on trying to figure out how we can gain support and membership so that we can figure out once we have more capital, where we can put those funds, which will benefit our members and our beach the most,” said Nate Boddy, treasurer of SD BIG

One way they plan to gain support for their cause is at the BIG Kahuna Beachfest fundraiser (6manvolleyball.com) on Oct. 9. All are encouraged to sign up for a spot to play 4-person beach volleyball or 3-person basketball. All skill levels are welcome and participants are encouraged to dress in costume with their teams. The event is sponsored by local businesses, including Cindy Whitmarsh Fitness, Vavi Sports and Social of San Diego and Onesie Tourney. Hendrickson said their goal is to raise $125,000 during the BIG Kahuna Beachfest.

“I would think that we would be able to do a bit of landscaping and take care of the basketball courts and then start putting money in a savings account for the bathrooms and things like that,” Hendrickson said.

For San Diego locals like Evan Brugger, South Mission Beach is a great place to go to be active and play volleyball with friends. 

“It’s a nice clean beach and it’s cool there’s so much to do,” Brugger said. “You know the [volleyball] nets are always going to be there.”

SD BIG hopes to get more community input in order to decide what type of projects to invest in. You can fill out their survey at https://us20.list-manage.com/survey?u=e7f4e97b5893af2c03feae7e5&id=c1eb8abd28.

 

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