DEL MAR — Sentimental favorites such as “Unchained Melody” and “I’ve Got You Babe” performed by The Corvettes provided the backdrop for the Del Mar Lifeguard Association’s Dance Party Fundraiser June 25.
The dinner was the 31st annual fundraiser for the association. Pat Vergne, director of community services and chief lifeguard for the city of Del Mar, reported that about 200 partygoers contributed $6,500. The funds will be used to support junior lifeguards as well as scholarship programs for seasonal lifeguards and other outreach and education programs. Disabled veterans and disabled children, as well as inner city kids, benefit from the philanthropic work done by the association.
“We get monies throughout the year from other sources, but this is our primary fundraising opportunity,” said Jon Edelbrock, vice president of the association.
Peruvian cuisine featuring paella was served up by Café Secret. Rusty Surf Shop donated a surfboard as a grand prize for the raffle.
In total, more than 30 local businesses donated to the event by providing raffle prizes and silent auction items. They included The Poseidon, Jake’s, The Pacifica, Bully’s, Del Mar Pizza, The Fish Market, En Fuego, Tio Leo’s, Zel’s, Zinc Café, Pizza Nova, Pizza Port, Belly Up, Del Mar Motel, Hampton Inn, B&L Bike & Sports and Hansen’s Surf Shop.
The Corvettes founder and keyboardist, Dr. Joe Witkin, was an original member of the legendary ‘50s group, Sha Na Na. His wife, Carol, is lead singer.
“This is such a good audience,” said Witkin, who is also a physician. “They get down and crazy.”
David Blanton played the drums. Chaz Sanchez is the group’s guitarist.
“We play music from Frank Sinatra to the Beach Boys,” Sanchez said. “People here appreciate all of it. That’s specific to Del Mar. They know how to ‘shim shimmy’ and do the ‘Twist.’”
Graydon Church, 11, has been a member of the Del Mar Junior Lifeguard program for four years.
“I’ve never heard this music before, but I love it,” he said.
“I love going to the beach and playing with my friends. It’s cool to learn how to save people. If someone is in danger I know how to give CPR and use a life can.”
Joie Nolasco of Rancho Penasquitos came with friend Mike Sick.
“I’m a former lifeguard,” she said. “We decided we wanted to participate in the fundraiser. In this day of budget cuts, you have to support these organizations.”
Local body surfer Isla Cordelae kept rhythm to the music.
“I like to support the lifeguards and the junior lifeguard program,” she said. “The lifeguards are some of the greatest people in the world. They are friendly and are always looking out for you.”
Vergne reported that four permanent lifeguards and 35 seasonal lifeguards conduct about 1,200 rescues a year along Del Mar’s 2.5 miles of beach. Many of the seasonal lifeguards who have been awarded scholarships through the association have gone on to become physicians and attorneys.