The Hamilton Galleries in Santa Monica will present the Sixth Annual Hamilton Galleries/Rob LeMond Swim Scholarship Benefit Saturday, July 9 to help inner city youths attend Summer Surf Camp in Malibu.
The event, featuring art, food, fun, wine and jazz, is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. at Hamilton Galleries, 1431 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica.
Hamilton Galleries is again partnering with Rob LeMond, a longtime ocean swimming and surf instructor, and the Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) for the benefit to introduce low-income children to the ocean experience and its many healthful benefits, event organizers said.
The event will include O Solé L.A., a group exhibit by an eclectic group of artists represented by the Hamilton Galleries, including Warren Long, Brooke Adams, Margaret von Biesen, Eva Armisen, Esau Andrade, Robert Toll, Karin Swildens and Gene Siegrist.
Gallery owner Leigh Hamilton said she initiated the event when her young daughter was learning to swim and after seeing that many children never get the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and benefits of the Pacific Ocean. She said she felt this was something that all children should be able to experience, not just those who are privileged.
A former Junior Olympic swimmer, Hamilton knows what a life-enhancing experience swimming and ocean sports can be. “Ocean sports, and the joy that comes from them, are something you can do for the rest of your life,” she says.
Hamilton said she also understands how mastering ocean sports builds confidence and helps children overcome fears. Children enrolled in the Summer Surf Camp in Malibu get the opportunity to learn and interact with kids from other areas and income levels in Southern California, she noted.
Monique Gutierrez, a former scholarship recipient, said of the experience, “We never knew we could swim so far, fly so high or feel so amazing.”
In addition, Hamilton said the camp impacts students by teaching about the ecology of the ocean and ocean safety.
The evening’s music will be provided by saxophonist Laurel Partin and friends, and food will be provided by Ma’Kai of Santa Monica.
Tickets to the Saturday evening artists’ reception and Rob LeMond Surf/Swim Scholarship Benefit are $30 per person, but children are free. Twenty percent of all proceeds from art sales will benefit the scholarship.