Surf City Weekly - June 14, 2024

73rd Annual Pier Swim: New Records and Vibrant Community Spirit: The Community & Library Services Department proudly hosted the 73rd Annual Pier Swim, a celebrated event featuring a half-mile race that drew 223 enthusiastic participants this year. A highlight of the event was the exceptional performance by Grady Wright in the Junior Boys division, who set a new record with a time of 9 minutes and 1 second, breaking a long-standing milestone from 1986. The competition was fierce and spirited, culminating in Swim Long Beach securing the Gene Belshe Memorial Perpetual Trophy. The safety of all participants was paramount, thanks to the diligent efforts of Marine Safety and the beach lifeguards who ensured a smooth and secure race.

The race was divided into three age-based categories, with the starting times staggered to accommodate the different groups. The first race commenced at 8:45 a.m. for ages 25-49, followed by the 50-65+ group at 9:30 a.m., and concluding with the 12-24 age group at 10:15 a.m. The event was made possible through the generous sponsorship of Sports Basement, whose support helped in organizing such a successful and memorable race. The 73rd Annual Pier Swim not only celebrated athletic excellence, but also fostered community spirit and camaraderie among participants and spectators alike.

Mud, Rafts, and Forts Galore: Love HB Volunteers Enhance Adventure Playground: On Saturday, June 1, Serve City brought over 25 enthusiastic volunteers to Adventure Playground in Huntington Central Park for their annual Love HB Community Service Day. These volunteers collaborated with staff to prepare Adventure Playground for another exciting summer filled with activities like playing in the mud, rafting on the pond, and building forts.

The volunteers made significant improvements across all areas of the playground. They shaped the mudslide, constructed the rope bridge, and provided 
the changing rooms with a fresh coat of paint, among other tasks. Their hard work and dedication are greatly appreciated by the Community & Library Services Department. Additionally, the Public Works Department assisted by power washing and preparing the surfaces for painting.

Adventure Playground will open on Saturday, June 22, and will be available Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. until Saturday, August 17. To register, please visit HBSANDS.org. The Community & Library Services Department is grateful for the incredible efforts of these volunteers, which have ensured that Adventure Playground is ready for a summer full of fun and adventure!

Santa Ana Fire Academy Graduation: 
The 185th basic fire academy graduation from Santa Ana College took place on Saturday, June 8, 2024, at the Central Net Training Center in Huntington Beach. HBFD sponsored two recruits, who successfully completed 600 hours of instruction and testing.

The first community college-based fire academy in California was offered by Santa Ana College in 1967. It moved from Santa Ana to the Central Net Training Center in 1976. Academy training is accredited by the Office of the State Fire Marshal and delivers curriculum for Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 certification.

Appreciation for Love HB Volunteers Overhauling Senior Center Patio Garden: 
The Senior Center in Central Park would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the volunteer group, Love HB, who partnered with Branches Church to renovate the back patio garden at the Senior Center on Saturday, June 1, and Saturday, June 8. Approximately 30 volunteers of all ages dedicated their time from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on both days to significantly transform the garden space.

The volunteers added a variety of beautiful plants, including Kangaroo Paw, Butterfly Weed, Coast Rosemary, and several Eastern Redbud trees. Not only did they contribute their time and effort in pre-planning and executing the project, but they also generously donated over 450 plants and trees for the community to enjoy.

The Surf City Gardeners, a volunteer group associated with the Senior Center, will continue to maintain the garden, ensuring it remains a pleasant and inviting space for years to come. Their tasks will include weeding, pruning, and watering the plants.

The Senior Center is immensely grateful for the hard work and dedication of Love HB, Branches Church, Senior Center staff, and the Public Works Department. Their collective efforts have resulted in a beautiful upgrade to our Senior Center's garden. If you are interested in volunteering to help maintain the garden, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Caryn Kawamoto, at [email protected]. Be sure to visit and enjoy the new garden next time you are at the Senior Center!

Law Enforcement Torch Run: Last week, several members of the HBPD proudly took part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for the Special Olympics. HBPD carried the “Flame of Hope” for 5.4 miles through our City, a powerful symbol of courage, acceptance, and inclusion.

The LETR is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the Special Olympics. Hundreds of law enforcement personnel come together each year to escort the Special Olympics torch through their communities, demonstrating their support for the organization and its athletes.

2024 Annual Citizens Academy Concludes: L
ast week, the City concluded its nine-week annual Citizens Academy with a tour of the Gothard Training Center. More than 30 Surf City residents participated in the program, which took a deep dive into a City department every week.

Participant Pat Henry exclaimed, “Thank you for all the effort and time you and the departments put into making this a fantastic experience! It was amazing to learn what goes on behind the scenes to keep our city running so smoothly! Every session was interesting and enjoyable!”

The next Citizens Academy session will take place in Spring 2025. To register, please visit the City website in early 2025.