Ventura County's Support-Local Program

Reflections On Surf Rodeo

What stood out to me about the this past weekend’s Surf Rodeo are the generations – so many young and old enjoying the day. And what they all learned.

Rodeo-father-sonSnapshots in my head

As I sat in my back yard this morning, sipping my tea and trying to clear my brain to  get ready for the next two events – the Gidget film (Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story) tonight (July 16th) at the Crown Plaza and the Totally Local VC Dinner Series (Dinner At The City)  this Thursday (July 18th) at Ventura City Hall – I felt like I finally got a moment to digest some of the wonderful snapshots in my head from this past weekend’s Surf Rodeo event. What stood out the most to me are the generations – so many young and old enjoying the day.

Lessons of community for the generations

Rodeo-hatKnowing and working with JD Ford, this event’s sponsor, over the years (many years!), I think I can safely say that this particular Surf Rodeo captured exactly what his vision/dream is. He wanted to build an event which brings us together as family and community; that shows our pride in where we live. The principal benefit this weekend provided, whether intentional or not, was its impact on our future generations, helping them to experience that deep pride of being part of a community.

Rodeo-kidsThis is a gift so needed these days, an invaluable lesson which will help ensure that our future generations protect, support and give back to our town and the people that live here. In my case, three generations of my family attended: myself, my children and my grandson.  Having been a part of the first Surf Rodeos, my children got to experience it and help, and now my grandson has as well.

So many to thank

Thank you JD and crew (and that’s a big crew) for allowing me and Totally Local VC to be a part of this amazing dream. I hope I mention at least most of the crew here, and to those I’ve missed, please know you are so appreciated: JD Drury, Amber Hicks Drury, Tami Winbury, Albee, Denise Olson Drury, Green Art People, Thomas Emery, Ross Emery, Steve O, Vince Felix, Frank Sentes, Alyson Warner, Dave Swaffer, Tom, Buffy, Ventura PD, Ventura Fire, City of Ventura, State Beach’s and Carla (she rocks!), Scott Mcrea, Brand Johnson, Brian Torres, the bands and, most of all, every single volunteer that showed up and did their part.

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Learn more about author Kat Merrick

Kat Merrick

About the author

Kat Merrick made her mark in the apparel world as an innovative leader and founder of Surf Chick Inc. With over 25 years of extensive experience managing worldwide capacity apparel facilities, companies and product, her superior leadership skills, practiced in directing cross-functional global teams to design, brand, source develop and marketing, won her world-wide recognition and awards. She is considered an expert in the areas of trend studies, brand building and marketing. At 23 years old she opened her first successful retail business in Ventura County, Since then, Kat has owned and operated several very successful retail and wholesale operations and assisted numerous multi-category small businesses to achieve success. Highly respected by many local small business owners, growers, artists and locals, she has been tagged as "the Shop Local girl". Kat's extensive travels, strong business knowledge and desire to make a positive impact locally helped inspire her to create Totally Local VC. A Ventura County resident since 1978, single mother of two and long-standing advocate for support of local small business and all that is Ventura, founder and developer of Totally Local VC, Kat brings her passion for our community to all she does. Her writings, posts and blog reflect her love of family, friends and community and desire to help.


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  1. Miss being a vendor there, so much fun!

  2. cute….

  3. love the hat are they for sale?

    • Totally Local VC

      Sharon, only the winners got these and they are one of a kind.

  4. Had such a good time…

  5. Great event! Cowboy hats off to the all the folks that worked on making this weekend event run so smoothly! From enertainment, stages, timing and event scheduling, security… all the way down to the spot o' pots and clean up – thanks to all!

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