Keep A Breast's Shaney Jo Darden

Keep A Breast's Shaney Jo Darden

Hundreds of surf industry legends, celebrities and fans gathered at the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association's (SIMA) 8th Annual Liquid Nation Ball in La Jolla, California to honor Keep-a-Breast co-founder and CEO Shaney jo Darden as the 2011 SIMA Humanitarian of the Year!

The event, held at the ocean front home of Fernando Aguerre, is the official fundraiser for the SIMA Humanitarian Fund, which benefits 13-surf related humanitarian organizations.

Aguerre – whose humanitarian resume includes, among many things, the recently opened SDSU Center for Surf Research – made a special announcement as he introduced Darden.

“The State of California-the Senate in the State of California has passed a resolution declaring Shaney jo Darden Humanitarian of the Year recognized by SIMA,” said Aguerre, “and no, we didn’t make it at Kinko’s, it’s real.”

Believe the hype. Darden, who coined the phrase “I Love Boobies,” is down to earth, humble and – as TV host and long-time friend Sal Masekela said – “an angel”.

LTTS caught up with Shaney at the event and asked her about ‘Keep-a-Breast’ and how it came to be embraced globally with the help of the surf industry.

“Early on I had a good relationship with Quiksilver Foundation, they were really instrumental in helping us go global. They invited us to France, they invited us to Australia, we casted all the surfer girls, so they are a huge part of our success and then with my background in skateboarding, we’ve done collaborations with skate brands, surf brands, its just, they’re all my friends.”

She also spoke to us about the amazing ‘Imagine If’ campaign: “The thing I love most about it is we do it all over the world,” said Darden. “So you see this cross-section of people, mostly young people, all nationalities, all different social, economical backgrounds, and you really see their face and their one little sentence of how they’ve been impacted, it’s so powerful.”

Darden was noticeably blown away for being recognized and was quick to thank those who support her ‘Keep-a-Breast’ and ‘I Love Boobies’ movement:

“It’s not just about me, that what’s weird. I’m getting this award but it’s a collective thing with thousands of people who’ve been supporting my dream and vision. My team and brands work so hard, it’s definitely a collective thing.”

Upon receiving the award, she selflessly continued to thank her supporters.
 “This is the most amazing situation ever. I’d like to thank Fernando especially and Santiago for inviting us into your home, you are true philanthropists and humanitarians…you do so much for organizations, not just on the SIMA Humanitarian front but for many other charities globally, so I really appreciate it” said Shaney jo from the stage. “And I want to thank my mom. She just raised me in such a way, taught me to be totally fearless and to always follow my heart, so it’s really her doing that this is happening, so thanks mom.”

She also thanked her ‘Keep a Breast’ team: “I would do anything for all of you at any moment and I just appreciate you guys all so, so, so very much. It’s weird to get this award as just a person…I just really want to dedicate all my work to you- you guys are my ‘boob warriors’ out there and I appreciate you all so, so very much.”

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