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Skateboard art aims to take out breast cancer
Frank Alvarado is the point-man for tonights Paint and Destroy skateboard art show and auction at Delicato Family Vineyards, which will benefit Boarding for Breast Cancer. - photo by HIME ROMERO


• WHAT: Paint and Destroy art show and auction.
• WHERE: Delicato Family Vineyards
• WHEN: Tonight, beginning at 6 p.m.
• WHY: All proceeds benefit Boarding for Breast Cancer

In Frank Alvarado’s mind, the terms are pretty clear: If cancer is going to continue to affect people in his life, well…

He’s going to push right back.

Alvarado is the point-man for tonight’s fifth annual Paint and Destroy skateboard art show and auction at Delicato Family Vineyards.

The event will feature 80 skateboards hand-painted by artists around the world. All proceeds will benefit Boarding for Breast Cancer, a charity that has shaped Alvarado’s own skateboarding adventures.

“The biggest thing is that there are people in my life still fighting cancer. I’ve got a friend who lost her sister to cancer. I’ve got an aunt that beat cancer about a month ago,” he said. “My life is still very much affected by cancer.”

And so he fights, turning up at events near and far with his skateboard and buddies, championing Boarding for Breast Cancer of which he’s the Northern California ambassador.

In August, he returned to Lake Tahoe for the “Skate the Lake” ride.

Next month, he and some friends will board from the Santa Monica Pier to Redondo Beach.

On Nov. 2, Alvarado will reprise his role as founder and director of “Ride the Tide.” The annual event invites community members to cruise the Tidewater Bikeway on anything with wheels – skateboards, bicycles and scooters.

However, the Paint and Destroy art show and auction gives Alvarado and his team an intimate setting to raise money for research and a cure, as well as shine a light on a global killer that knows no prejudice.

Alvarado says the art show has raised anywhere between $5,000-12,000 in each of its first four years. Past events have been held at the now-defunct Main Street Café.

Money is only half the reward, Alvarado says.

He enjoys meeting those who might benefit from his philanthropy, embracing them and hearing their stories.

“I’m always surprised. There’s nothing that I expect. I’m always just blown away by the generosity of the people that come, by the art work and by the stories,” he said. “It’s not just a night to raise money. It’s a night to raise awareness, too.”

He marvels at how the art show and auction has grown over the years. In the beginning, the auction featured 18 boards, each hand-painted.

That number has ballooned to 80 for tonight’s show. The boards were purchased from a manufacturer in San Diego at a discounted price and then shipped all over the world to interested artists.

Mailing addresses included Germany, New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Cincinnati. Alvarado credits longtime friend Richard Salemi with creating those contacts.

“We’ve been sending them out to whoever wanted to paint them,” Alvarado added. “We’ve got some big names this year. There are a couple of artists who donated under a different name that should be a pretty big draw.”

The evening will include wine and other non-alcoholic drinks, as well as cupcakes.

Local comedian Chris Teicheira will oversee the auction.

The guests of honor, though, are the hand-painted skateboards.

“We chose skateboards because that’s what we’re good at. We’ve always decorated and designed them to match our personalities,” Alvarado said. “When we decided on a way we could get involved, skateboards were a natural fit.

“Skateboards are how we reach out to the children and to our friends.”