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This weekend the ocean will bring out the best in people

August 28, 2009 | 11:15 am

Malibu Many have said ocean is therapeutic, but this weekend it goes beyond that: The waters off Southern California will become a theater in which kindhearted people will do their best to help others.

On Saturday, Sean Clancy will paddle his kayak from Huntington Beach to Santa Catalina Island to raise money for the Dream Street Foundation, which treats kids with life-threatening illnesses to a unique camping experience.

People have pledged donations and as of Thursday night Clancy had received $10,326. Last year he made the same voyage and raised $16,000. He asks those who would like to help to visit the Dream Street website and find "Sean's Kayak Event" in the "You Can Help" field.

Also on Saturday, the Malibu Invitational gets underway at Surfrider State Beach. It's a high-level surf contest that runs through Sunday, and some proceeds will benefit local surfer Lyon Herron, 16, who has been battling Gardner syndrome, a potentially deadly cancer, since he was 6.

"We're looking forward to a great event with some of the world's best  surfers. But more importantly we're excited to help Lyon," said Brad Gerlach, a big-wave surfer and spokesman for Primo Beer, the event sponsor.

On Sunday is the Catalina Classic paddleboard race from Catalina to Manhattan Beach. The Ocean of Hope uses this grueling 32-mile competition as a fundraiser for the Sarcoma Alliance. Twenty team members will compete to raise money toward finding a cure for this deadly cancer.

Robert Chambliss is the only sarcoma survivor to have actually paddled in the race. But he didn't finish the 2005 competition because his right shoulder began to ache because of the cancer. Robert died in 2007. During the 2008 competition two paddlers, Gene Boyer and Ron Roebuck, delivered some of his ashes across the channel to help Chambliss finish the race.

It was a touching moment when they arrived at the beach, and there figures to be more touching moments this weekend. May the best men and women prevail--heaven knows they'll be trying.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Surfrider State Beach in Malibu will be the site of the Malibu Invitational surf contest this weekend. Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

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