Marissa Hushaw is pretty young to be a hunger activist. But that doesn't make the teenage snowboarder any less determined.
Hushaw is organizing the Grind Out Hunger Rail Jam on Saturday at China Peak. All proceeds benefit Grind Out Hunger, a Santa Cruz-based nonprofit that combats childhood hunger and malnutrition.
About to turn 16 next week, Hushaw is a sophomore at Aptos High but spends most weekends riding at China Peak. She's pretty good, too, as evidenced by her several sponsors. The Bee caught up with her via email before her big fundraiser.
Question: What is Grind Out Hunger, exactly?
Answer: Grind Out Hunger is a cause that empowers youth through sports to get together and fight against childhood hunger. Not only is it providing meals for the one in four kids (in Santa Cruz County) that go hungry every day, but also we educate on proper nutrition instead of indulging on cheap, convenient food. We raise money through events such as my second annual rail jam.
You're pretty young to be an activist. Why is this cause so important to you?
I care because I AM A KID! One in four go hungry everyday. That could be one of my friends. I don't like that at all. I want to change that statistic so that NO ONE goes hungry.
How much money have you raised so far, and what are your goals for 2013?
So far, I have raised over $9,000! And by the end of the rail jam, my total should be OVER $10,000! That's my main goal for 2013! After I hit $10,000 I'm going to continue to support my fellow hunger fighters and help them with their campaigns.
How did China Peak get involved?
China Peak has basically raised me. Spending every weekend there since I was a baby. The employees and friends I have met have became my family. I have received endless support. From learning to snowboard to hosting my own rail jam, I love you China Peak!
What do you enjoy most about competitive snowboarding? And what's your best event?
Oh gosh ... I just love snowboarding. Competing is fun! But the friends you make through it is way more worth it than a medal. It teaches you to get better. Competing with friends helps you improve. My best event would be boardercross, and I'm starting to expand to slopestyle.
What are your future goals in snowboarding?
I hope to get a video part someday. Or even get in a snowboard magazine! That would be sweet. Until then I'm just going to keep doing what I do: snowboarding and loving life!
Grind Out Hunger Rail Jam
-- When: Saturday
-- Where: China Peak, Chinatown bus at Tollhouse
-- Hours: Registration from 9 to 11 a.m. Comp begins at noon.
-- Cost: $10 in advance (skichinapeak.com/events.aspx and follow the link to register) or $15 Saturday
-- Details: All proceeds benefit Grind Out Hunger; raffle prizes and giveaways for all participants
-- Donate: To support Marissa Hushaw's Grind Out Hunger effort, go to grindouthunger.org/marisssahushaw
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