Frank Alvarado knew when he was driving up to Lake Tahoe with a crew of more than 20 people to help raise awareness for breast cancer that he was doing something special.
For one, it gave him a chance to get involved with a cause that had become so near and dear to his heart after watching a longtime friend battle the disease. It also allowed him to express himself through skateboarding – adding a personal element to the fight for the longtime board rider.
But on that first trek he had no idea that he would bringing a version of that event back to Manteca and that it would become an instant success. Ride the Tide, the coalition of runners, skateboarders, beach cruisers, roller derby girls and just plain walkers that transform the Tidewater Bikeway from a meandering trail into an all-day stream focused on the fight against breast cancer, was born.
The second annual event is scheduled this year for Nov. 12.
“It’s a great event where we raise money for Boarding for Breast Cancer – a really great cause,” Alvarado said. “This year we’re expecting it to be even bigger with the sponsors that we have. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to do it, but so many people kept asking when it was going to be, and I knew it was something at that point that needed to happen.”
Putting an event of that size together, however, isn’t something that can be done overnight.
Because of the cost of obtaining the permits necessary for the 13.1-mile relay – set so that those looking to run can make the event a half-marathon – Alvarado will be hosting an art show and sale on Monday, Oct. 10, at the Main Street Café to help raise the funds necessary to offset some of the costs.
The event will be somewhat similar to the wildly popular “Paint and Destroy” event that he also hosts as another breast cancer fundraiser by selling skateboard decks that have been decorated by local artists. Works from some of those same artists will be on display. It will be in a silent auction format, and the artwork will be on display until Monday, Oct. 17. The highest bidder will get to take the designated work home.
At the end of the day, however, Alvarado says that he’s mesmerized by the sheer number of people that have been willing to step up and help him make the event possible. All it took, he said, was a single hint on facebook or in a text message and his phone starts blowing up.
“It’s amazing that with just one word my phone starts ringing for days,” he said. “That gives me such an amazing feeling. To have so many people that are willing to be a part of something so special – there’s not much more you can say.”
The event – which will be sponsored by Vitamin Water, Alvarado’s Vida Loca Skateboards and Fayuca Skateboards of San Jose, will kick off on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 10 a.m. For more information visit the Ride the Tide facebook page at www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002991784420 or call Alvarado or (209) 482-2115.