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Surf community united to help Sandy victims

OCEANSIDE — The California Surf Museum has joined others in the surf industry to collect donations and raise funds for super storm Sandy victims. 

The museum is home to the Coast to Coast: Surfers for Supplies nonprofit that collects donations and works with the Waves For Water Foundation to ship donations to those in need.

The Waves For Water Foundation works with East Coast cities and surf industry contacts to distribute donated goods. This allows donations to go directly into the hands of those in need.

As part of the efforts, contacts on the ground collect donations and update West Coast collection sites on what is needed.

After recovery operations began residents’ needs changed. Initially coats and blankets were needed. Now personal hygiene products and household cleaning supplies are top priorities. Stores on the East Coast are still in short supply of these goods and some residents are limited by gas rationing and lack of resources to secure supplies.

“Every hour there is a change of what the need is,” Todd Quinn, manager of the museum gift store, said.

“It’s a chance for me to feel good about giving,” he added.

Quinn said that small toys are on the immediate collection list through Dec. 15.

“A toy can really change a kid and make a kid relax,” he said.

Sam Zuegner, operations manager of the California Surf Museum and cofounder of Coast to Coast: Surfers for Supplies, grew up in Beach Haven, N.J., on Long Beach Island and began his career as a professional surfer on the East Coast. He moved to California to pursue his career, but still stores personal belongings in his family’s home in Beach Haven.

For Zuegner the disaster is an opportunity to help. The fundraising efforts align with the museum’s mission to give back to the community.

Through Coast to Coast: Surfers for Supplies and Waves For Water Foundation a truckload of donated goods has already been shipped back east.

On Nov. 30, a crowd of about 200 gathered for a surf film fundraiser held at the museum. The film was a unique mix of rare 1941 East Coast surf footage, and clips of the 1962 storm and recent super storm Sandy.

“I have never seen footage like this from this time period,” Zuegner said. “Guys are riding 100-pound wooden boards. I was amazed.”

The museum is still collecting goods and funds for super storm Sandy victims.

“I don’t expect this to stop,” Zuegner said.

A drop-off box is inside the museum. Updates on what is currently needed are posted at