Articles are not my strong point, but Terry is a good friend and has asked me on several occasions to write one, so here we go.
The one thing I am passionate about is Oceano Dunes. Many of you know I am deeply rooted in the organization Friends of Oceano Dunes or FoOD. Who are we? What do we do? What is our purpose?
Well, we are a group of individuals fighting the onslaught of issues and lawsuits, presented almost on a daily basis by the Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) wanting the Oceano Dunes SVRA closed. Many of us and our families have been enjoying the dunes for 40 + years and just grew tired of seeing it being closed without any effort to save it for our families and “YOUR” families to enjoy for generations to come.
Our efforts are an unbiased attempt to keep the dunes open for “ALL” to enjoy, thus our slogan “Access for All”. Not just for the OHV enthusiast’s, but the families that like to drive on the beach for the family picnic, the fisherman that wants to drive down a cast his pole, the horseback rider that wants to drive on the beach and unload the horse trailer and any individual that just wants the experience and excitement of driving their car on the only stretch of beach of the California coast where you can.
State parks will be the one of the first to tell you that had in not been for the efforts of the FoOD group stepping in and assisting, Oceano Dunes could very well be closed today. We continue to assist and will continue to assist State Parks as long as we have the finances to.
Many continue to ask; “How can I get involved”. That is a tough question. I got involved by chance, several years ago, during a very heated city council meeting in which the sell of the La Grande tract was being discussed. My wife and I could not attend the meeting, so we watched it via web cast. During the meeting our then 3 year old daughter asked us what was happening, we explained to her that there was a meeting that people wanted to close the beach! She looked at us and said “That is my beach, go over there and tell them they can’t close it”! Those words rang so big to us. She is right, that is her beach, it is also your beach and my beach, that we found a way to get involved and we haven’t looked back. I stand proud knowing that if the dunes were closed today, I have done all I can to keep them open. Have you?
Although we appear to be a large group, there is only a handful of us that put forth the huge effort and time that everyone sees, we need help!! How is tough. We are currently looking for grant writers, website host and designer. We are always looking for someone willing to transport our raffle vehicle to events and sell tickets. Help us sell tickets on the beach.
Many of you know that for the past 9 years that each March we have our “All you can eat crab feed”. This event is turning out to be one of our biggest fund raisers. What many don’t know is last year on a whim, we threw together a round up bbq. Although it wasn’t as big as we had hoped, it got those people that don’t like crab excited, so we are doing again!!
October 16th, we are having our 2nd annual round up bbq, we are putting in as much effort into this event as we do the crab feed, yet we are changing the bbq up to include a shown n shine for all those out there that think there ATV, UTV, Sandrail or Off road vehicle is the biggest and baddest. Bring it out, let your competitors be the judge. We need volunteers to help set up, clean up. We need raffle prizes, nothing is to small nor to big! There is a lot that people can to help us, just ask!