Surfing Madonna Oceans Projects is the nonprofit organization that was officially formed in 2013 by Robert Nichols and Mark Patterson (artist of the Surfing Madonna mosaic).
According to Robert Nichols, who heads the non-profit, Surfing Madonna Oceans Project works to protect our coastline and to help children with special needs experience riding waves.
They also host two local fundraisers, the Surfing Madonna Beach Run and the Encinitas Half Marathon. The proceeds from these two events support programs in Encinitas with almost $600,000 given to charities since 2013.
However, a recent clerical error by the City for the 2019 Surfing Madonna lifeguard fees cost the organization nearly $5,000. After a lengthy back and forth, the City refunded the overcharges, but now they’ve removed Surfing Madonna events from their calendar.
The organization’s Beach Run and Half Marathon attract over 10,000 participants and utilize 1,100 local volunteers. In 2017, the Surfing Madonna Beach Run officially became the Guinness Book of World Records’ “Largest Race on Sand”. The Encinitas Half Marathon is currently the second largest half marathon in San Diego.
The City Council will decide the issue on February 12, 2020.
Learn more about the organization here: Surfing Madonna Oceans Project.