A week of fundraising events related to the Brendan Borek High Tides Memorial Fund will kick off Saturday, July 29 with the seventh annual Low Tide Beach Ride in Avalon.
Brendan's Fund is a local grassroots organization that finances programs that help local pediatric cancer patients and their families. It was established in 1992 by the family and friends of Brendan Borek, an artist and surfer who was diagnosed a the age of 16 with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer.
Brendan loved skateboarding, soccer and surfing, and spent countless hours on the beach with his friends waiting for the incoming high tide to bring the best surf, his family said.
“So it was a natural for his friends to wish him ‘high tides’ during his struggle with cancer. In keeping with that same shared feeling of community goodwill, Brendan’s Fund strives to provide ‘high tides’ conditions for Cape May County and Atlantic County families who have a child or young adult with cancer,” the fund website states.
Since 2015 services to families have been provided through the Brendan Borek Endowed Fund at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The fund provides “access to care” services that include but are not limited to food, travel, hotel and other expenses during the child’s illness.
The group’s fundraisers offer a variety of ways to support the cause.
The Low Tide Beach Ride is a family-friendly 2-mile bike ride that takes place on the hard sand at the ocean's edge. Open to all ages, it takes place 6:30-8 p.m. Saturday on the Ninth Street beach.
The beach ride will be followed by the 17th annual Artists and Friends Art Show 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1 at the Avalon Yacht Club, Seventh Street and the bay in Avalon. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for ages 12-17 and free for children under age 12.
The show features the work of local artists and generally includes paintings, photography, sculpture and handmade jewelry. Half of the proceeds from the sale of each piece will go to the fund, organizers said.
On Wednesday, Aug. 2 Bonnie’s Toppings of Avalon at 2166 Dune Drive will host froyo all day and a kids karaoke event at 7 p.m. to benefit Brendan’s Fund.
The Fishin’ Pier Grille will serve up pancakes 6 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3 at its two locations, 32nd Street and the Boardwalk in Avalon, and 97th Street and Third Avenue in Stone Harbor, with proceeds going to the fund.
Friday, Aug. 4 is Crab Cake Day at Sylvester’s Fish Market Restaurant, 21st and Fifth Avenue in Avalon. Eat in or take out any crab cake dish all day, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Brendan’s Fund.
The Spot, a surf boutique at 2538 Dune Drive, will donate a portion of the profits from sales Aug. 5 to the fund.
A golf tournament fundraiser was held in the spring. The Brendan Borek Surf Memorial was discontinued a few years ago after being held for more than 20 years.
The first Brendan Borek surf contest was held in September 1991 by the borough of Avalon to give emotional and financial support to Borek, who celebrated his 18th birthday at the contest even as he was losing his battle with cancer.
He died less than three months later.
Two Brendan’s Fund charity events are scheduled for the fall — the 11th annual High Tides Striper Tournament Nov. 11, and the 5K Turkey Trot Nov. 23 sponsored by Cape May Fitness Centers in West Cape May.