“We have had a lot of fundraisers here to help different organizations,” said
Chef Billy “Butter” Joyce, owner of Surf Side Deli at 1912 Rosecrans St. “It’s in our blood to help others.”
Peninsula activist Claudia Jack noted one of the two families aided, who wished to remain anonymous, “had never had a Christmas tree.”
Reacting to the event, Jack said, “Whoo hoo. The Tamale Takeover at Surf Side Deli rocked. Butter and staff worked hard and it was a fantastic success. The music and other things going on were great. Looking forward to the second annual tamale takeover this year.”
Pointing out he wanted to “make it fun,” Joyce opted for a “Tamale takeover” contest, describing the event turnout as “unbelievable.”
“We had 10 teams the Sunday before Christmas,” he said. “We put it out there that we were having it and that we needed people to come out and help and give.”
So, for $10, fundraiser patrons were treated to all-they-could-eat tamales.
“The monies raised paid for gifts for the families,” said Joyce. “Additionally, participants brought unwrapped toys for the different ages of the local families in Ocean Beach.”
The first fundraiser of the year at Surf Side kicks-off on Jan. 26 at the deli. Joyce noted he also hosts regular surfing swap meets, where people bring in their old or vintage gear including surf and skateboards and wetsuits, which are then sold in the parking lot while music is played and barbecue served.
The restaurateur said they’re expanding their list of needy organizations supported by such fundraisers. “We want to donate to an orphanage in Tijuana,” he said. “People sell their stuff at the swap meet, and then donate some of the proceeds back to me to take down to the Tijuana orphanage.”
Joyce said one local artist brought in a piece he drew of a butterfly that fetched $300 that he donated which went to purchase a wagon, a plush toy and a dollhouse for a 2-year-old girl.
When Joyce gave those gifts to the child’s mother, he said she broke down in tears noting, “My cousin died last year and she loved butterflies, even had a butterfly tattoo.”
It made for a good story, noted Joyce adding it was an example of “the good that can happen if you give back.”