Surfer Machado’s fundraiser focusing on water this year

Although local surfer Rob Machado became famous for catching waves, his philanthropic contributions in recent years are now catching attention.

For the third year, Machado is partnering with the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach for a benefit concert in support of the Rob Machado Foundation. The Nov. 11 show boasts an all-star lineup of bands, with headliners the Goo Goo Dolls, folk rock band Run River North, singer-songwriter Tim Curran and local talent Austin Burns.

“It’s always a great night,” said Machado, who was born in Australia and grew up in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. “Everybody has a good time while raising money for a good cause.”

Established a decade ago, the Rob Machado Foundation supports various environmental programs, with an emphasis on children’s educational initiatives. Concert proceeds will benefit the nonprofit’s programs such as Hydration Nation, which aims to give people access to clean water while eliminating plastic water bottles. One in 6 people worldwide has no access to clean water, according to the foundation, and other sources estimate that number could be as high as 1 in 9 people.

In partnership with Hurley H2O, the foundation has installed water-bottle refill stations at high schools that pledge to eliminate single-use water bottles. Through the program, students at participating schools, including Canyon Crest Academy and San Dieguito Academy, have raised funds for water filtration systems for communities in Brazil and Nicaragua.

“Most high schools nowadays sell single-use, plastic water bottles to students,” said Machado, who noted that the Hydration Nation program has kept more than 60,000 plastic water bottles out of landfills. “Kids don’t drink out of drinking fountains. It’s weird, because I didn’t grow up like that. When you were thirsty, you went to a drinking fountain.”

The annual benefit concert is the foundation’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

With funds raised last year, including funds from the sold-out 2013 concert, the foundation shattered waste diversion records at the 2014 Switchfoot Bro Am, which was held at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. The foundation’s 87 volunteers recycled 892 pounds of waste — a 56 percent diversion rate.

The foundation also installed new, more effective trash cans at Cardiff State Beach and recycling bins at local elementary and high schools, co-sponsored the Grow Your Own program at the Solana Center, sponsored Family Ocean Night at Cardiff Elementary, and more.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Machado said. “It’s rewarding.”

General admission tickets cost $75 each. VIP tickets are already sold out. Attendees must be 21 or older to attend.

To purchase tickets, call 858-481-8140 or visit bellyup.com.

For information about the foundation, visit robmachadofoundation.org.

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