Each year since 2004, Aguerre has welcomed professional surfers and celebrities, business moguls, philanthropists and members of the public to his oceanfront La Jolla estate — which just so happens to house one of the world’s most respected private surfboard collections.
“My collection includes around 140 boards, some of which are currently on display at the La Jolla Historical Society’s Wave Riders exhibition,” Aguerre said. “There are boards from late 19th-century Hawaii to ones ridden by Kelly Slater and other current champions.”
Patrons of the star-studded event will enjoy dancing and live music, catered cuisine, an open bar and a live auction.
“The appeal of the Liquid Nation Ball is that it isn’t like being in a hotel or a formal setting,” he said. “It’s a home.”
Featured auction items include surf packages, unique boards, art pieces, and dinner and a Lakers game with basketball legend Bill Walton, including a meet-and-greet with players. “These are things you cannot really buy,” Aguerre said.
Attire can include “everything from aloha shirts to sports jackets,” Aguerre said. “It’s a very cool environment, not too stiff or formal.”
Aguerre holds true to his word by auctioning off his own outfit at the evening’s end, which last year consisted of tiger-print pants and a French velvet shirt.
“I walk out on stage, and I leave my clothing there,” he said. “It’s a very enjoyable tradition.”
The first Liquid Nation Ball started with Aguerre’s brother, Santiago, to benefit the humanitarian organization SurfAid and “as a way to bring industry people together to raise funds for worthy causes,” Aguerre said.
In 2006, the brothers handed over the event to the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) Humanitarian Fund, and it became the main fundraiser for surf-related humanitarian causes. Since its inception, the ball has donated more than $1.25 million to various organizations. SIMA directors hope to raise $250,000 at this year’s event.
As for his favorite local surf spots: “I don’t want to tell because my friends will get mad at me. People will find out and it will get crowded,” he laughed.
This year, the gala will honor two-time Grammy Award-winning singer Jason Mraz, as the 2010 SIMA Humanitarian of the Year.
“Lots of people write checks for causes,” Aguerre said. “That’s great, but that’s not our criteria. Jason has been very involved by promoting organizations at his concerts, playing at their events, participating in surf sessions with people who have had injuries, prevention and education, and taking people who maybe couldn’t surf back into the water.”
Mraz has actively contributed to Life Rolls On, an organization that uses surfing to improve quality of life for young people with spinal cord injuries. He has also worked with groups like Save the Music, Musicares, Free the Children and his hometown music and arts program.
“I look forward to Liquid Nation Ball as a chance to meet my comrades in contribution, expanding and strengthening this community and raising more funds, supporting the deserving beneficiaries of the night,” Mraz said in a written statement.
Tickets for the event are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are $300 per person. A total of 375 tickets will be sold and Aguerre urged those who wish to attend to act quickly.
“Tickets are in high demand and the event sells out weeks before the big night every year,” he said.
To purchase tickets or make a donation, visit www.liquid-nation.com. For information about Liquid Nation Ball 7 or to contribute to the SIMA Humanitarian Fund, contact Shannon Park at (949) 366-1164, ext. 2 or Shannon@sima.com.