Jackson, Wyoming – January 29, 2008 – The Alpinist Film Festival announced today that this year’s festival raised more than $7,000 for its designated non-profit, SurfAid International. The amount–the largest ever raised during the Festival–will go directly to the organization, which is dedicated to the alleviation of human suffering through community-based health programs.
Each year, The Alpinist Film Festival, which is held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, features one non-profit organization that works to preserve a place that inspires adventure athletes. To date, the AFF’s “Adventure Philanthropy Program” has resulted in the donation of nearly $30,000 to organizations such as The Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation’s Khumbu Climbing School, the Central Asia Institute, and One Percent for the Tetons.
SurfAid International, which was selected as the 2008 recipient, was founded in 2001 by physician and surfer Dr. Dave Jenkins, who had traveled on a surf charter to Indonesia’s Mentawai Islands with one goal in mind: to find perfect waves. The surf proved to be everything he had hoped for. Also what he found, though, were suffering and dying Mentawai people–mostly women and children–plagued by malaria and other preventable diseases.
Troubled by the inequity of lifestyles and moved by compassion, Dr. Jenkins established SurfAid International, a non-profit organization dedicated to the alleviation of human suffering through community-based health programs. With the support of the New Zealand and Australian governments, the global surfing community, and most importantly the Mentawai people of the affected areas themselves, SurfAid has come to exemplify the healing power of cross-cultural partnerships.
Supported by donations from sponsors and local businesses, money was raised for SurfAid International through silent auctions held throughout the four nights of the AFF and through the Step Into Liquid and Mountain Town Matinee screenings on Friday and Sunday. The total was rounded out by a generous donation from local Olympian Resi Stiegler, who donated her honorarium as the master of ceremonies for the Festival’s Snow Night. As well as donating money on behalf of the organization, the AFF facilitated an increased awareness of SurfAid International’s work in the outdoor community at large.
“SurfAid International is thrilled with the outcome,” said Elizabeth Ritter, SurfAid International’s Development Coordinator. “The money raised… is complemented by the connections and awareness created by being chosen as the beneficiary non-profit. Our ambassador for the surfing industry, Dan Malloy, is a gem of a human being, and the people of Jackson and the Alpinist Film Festival staff and crew are both generous and personable. The AFF was such a professional event with captivating films, I would love to return as a participant in 2009.”
Alpinist Film Festival Director Christian Beckwith said, “In such times of growing challenges to our planet, we all need to do what we can to help. For many adventure athletes, the most logical place to focus our attentions are the places we go to play. SurfAid International is a perfect organization for us to support, and a perfect example of how we can give back to the places of our inspiration.”
This year’s AFF, which took place January 17-19th at Walk Festival Hall and January 20th at the Center for the Arts, was an overwhelming success, with sold-out tickets and packed venues. Leslie Bahn, the Alpinist Film Festival Producer, said, “SurfAid representatives were really impressed with the wholehearted support they received from the Jackson community and were psyched to have an opportunity to raise awareness about their organization.”
About The Alpinist Film Festival
The Alpinist Film Festival celebrates the adventure lifestyle across disciplines and generations with three nights of film in skiing, surfing and climbing. The Festival’s mission is to advance the art of cinematographic storytelling as it underscores the unity among the adventure lifestyle communities. A portion of every year’s proceeds are donated to charities that help preserve the places of our inspiration. Because one of these places is our planet, beginning in 2008, the Festival will purchase carbon offsets to counteract its carbon footprint.
About Alpinist Magazine
Hailed by Italian climbing legend Reinhold Messner as “The best climbing magazine in the world today,” Alpinist Magazine is an archival-quality, quarterly publication dedicated to world alpinism and adventure climbing. The pages of Alpinist capture the art of ascent in its most powerful manifestations, presenting an articulation of climbing and its lifestyle that matches the intensity of the pursuit itself. Alpinist has been awarded three Maggie Awards, for Best Quarterly/Consumer Division, Best Overall Design, and Best Electronic Newsletter, and was featured in a seven-page article in Outside Magazine (“The Purists”) in March 2005. The magazine’s editorial and publishing offices are based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and online at www.alpinist.com.