Thank You Ev­ery­one

Howler Magazine - - & Entertainment Arts - By Robert Au­gust

It was my plea­sure and priv­i­lege once again to host the an­nual Robert Au­gust Surf & Turf event, a golf and surf com­pe­ti­tion sup­port­ing the CEPIA As­so­ci­a­tion. The out­stand­ing ef­forts of this or­ga­ni­za­tion have been ben­e­fit­ing un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren in Gua­nacaste for 18 years.

As some may know, CEPIA was cre­ated by a lovely woman named Laeti­tia, who came to Costa Rica from Bel­gium many years ago. Af­ter fall­ing in love with Costa Rica, Laeti­tia (like many of us) de­cided to live here per­ma­nently. Around the same time, I had be­come set­tled down here surf­ing and do­ing work with the com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing host­ing sev­eral Surf & Turf events on a small level. One day, Laeti­tia ap­proached me and ex­plained her pas­sion for giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity, and we teamed up. Her idea was to rein­vest the prof­its from Surf & Turf into a small com­mu­nity cen­ter in Hua­cas, about 10 min­utes from Ta­marindo. I thought, great! This will be a nice lit­tle place with some pala­pas and the lo­cal fam­i­lies will be happy. But it was just the start.

It has been just amaz­ing to see the evo­lu­tion of CEPIA and how it has be­come such a pos­i­tive el­e­ment of our com­mu­nity. What Laeti­tia ini­ti­ated in Hua­cas be­came a huge suc­cess. CEPIA even­tu­ally de­vel­oped and built a top-ofthe-line learn­ing and train­ing fa­cil­ity in­cor­po­rat­ing about 40 com­put­ers, English classes for kids and adults, and free day care. There is an in­dus­trial kitchen on site where adults can be­come cer­ti­fied to work in a restau­rant. CEPIA also pur­chased a cou­ple of vans to pick up kids from the com­mu­nity and bring them to the cen­ter.

Surf & Turf is a two-day event in Ta­marindo, most re­cently held on March 10 and 11, 2018. Par­tic­i­pat­ing fourmem­ber teams spend the first day in Ha­cienda Pinilla play­ing a "best ball" round of golf. The fol­low­ing day, ev­ery­one heads to Avel­lanas for a surf com­pe­ti­tion.

Now, I'm a pretty me­diocre golfer, but I can still surf pretty well. So for me, the beauty of this com­pe­ti­tion is the “best ball” fac­tor in the golf tour­na­ment — only one per­son on the team needs to have a good shot. Like­wise for surf­ing; it's a team score, so as long as ev­ery­one man­ages to catch a few waves, they've got a chance at win­ning!

Over­all, things played out as usual this year. Our team was pretty me­diocre on the golf course but stacked as a surf team with my­self, Juan Diego, and Gerry Hersh. The waves in Avel­lanas that day were per­fect — four- to five-foot with off­shore winds and nice peaks. I couldn't be­lieve how bad Juan Diego was at golf, but holy cow, he got some fab­u­lous waves for the surf con­test. I even snagged a few good ones my­self.

So the com­pe­ti­tion ended up with our team scor­ing high­est in surf­ing. The team cap­tur­ing first place in golf was

cer­tainly NOT ours. But you know what? With the com­bined re­sults of both days — golf­ing and surf­ing — our team came out on top. This was the first time I have won first place in my whole life!

The event ended with a fan­tas­tic awards cer­e­mony at the Va­quero. Ev­ery­one was in great spir­its know­ing that all the pro­ceeds from the con­test would go back to CEPIA and the com­mu­nity of Gua­nacaste.

CEPIA is a tremen­dous or­ga­ni­za­tion and can use all the help they can. Please con­sider do­nat­ing di­recty on­line at cepi­a­costar­ica.org/en/do­nate.html. Con­tact: Laeti­tia

What­sapp (506) 87128504

cepi­a­costar­ica@gmail.com

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