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Surfers fundraise their way into annual Randazzo tournament in Margate

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Andrew Middlesworth, 16, of Linwood, is leading the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation 18th annual Surf For A Cause online fundraising with $1,035 of his $2,000 goal.

MARGATE — For as long as he can remember, Andrew Middlesworth has been charging waves at the annual Surf For A Cause.

“I remember being in awe the first time I saw Dean (Randazzo) when I was 7 years old. I was pumped when he signed my shirt and skateboard. What I didn't know at the time was that he may not have been there to sign my gear without the excellent treatment he received and the help of a strong, loving community,” said Middlesworth, 16, of Linwood.

“Throughout the years I've competed in the surf with my friends and family, but this is the first year I have decided to raise money. I've set a lofty goal, but I know the importance of the cause. The money I collect will be given directly to those struck by cancer and in need to help get them through their battle.”

So far, he is leading the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation 18th annual Surf For A Cause online fundraising with $1,035 of his $2,000 goal.

The three top fundraisers in the male 17-and-younger, female 17-and-younger and adults 18-and-older categories will each take home a custom-designed surfboard shaped by Brian Wynn

A guided surfing adventure to Tamarindo, Costa Rica, will be awarded to the top fundraising middle school or high school student 12 and older. Presented by Surf Club Vacations, the trip includes board rental, lesson, airfare, hotel accommodations and breakfast daily. The second-place fundraiser in the student category will receive a surfboard signed by Randazzo.

Foundation Trustee Michele Barbara, of Margate, is in second place fundraising $850 of her $2,000 goal. In third place is Jack Walcoff, of Linwood.

The Surf It Forward campaign will end at the 18th annual Surf For A Cause Saturday at the Decatur Avenue beach in Margate.

Anyone can become a virtual surfer and fundraise on behalf of the foundation and join in the event festivities. Spectators are welcome to come out and watch the surfing, which will start at 8 a.m. and be followed by an after party and awards presentation starting at 4 p.m. presented by Ventura’s Greenhouse, which is open to the public. Tickets to the after party only are $25. Entries to the surfing contest will only be conducted at thedrcf.org.

Surfing contest entries are $50 per division, $15 for each additional division, and include a ticket to the after party. Entries are free for grom boys 11 and younger and gromette girls 12 and younger. There are also divisions for longboard and stand-up paddleboard. Anyone who raises $75 will receive a Surf It Forward hat and sticker. All entries include a Surf For A Cause T-shirt and a ticket to the after party.

Surfers are required to check in between 7 and 8 a.m. the day of the event. The first heat begins at 8 a.m.

Trophies will be awarded to the top three winners in each of the the following age divisions: groms 11 and younger, gromettes 12 and younger, boys 12-14, junior men 15-17, men 18-24, masters men 25-34, legends 45 and older, girls 13-15, women 16 and older, open longboard and open stand-up paddleboard.

Shore True Value Hardware and owners Alison Dannenhower and Paul Giunta will be honored by the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation at this year’s event.

A paddle-out will be held at the event in honor of longtime foundation friend and supporter Joe Dougherty, who died this past spring.

“He was a great surfer and a great friend and he will be sorely missed,” said foundation President Mark Zappone.

The Heart of Surfing will provide a free surfing session for families with autism and special needs during the event.

A surf dog demonstration will be provided courtesy of Booker D. Surfdog and Onyx Shorepound Surfdog.

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