Interview: Heal Japan’s Founder Chris Walthall

May 4th, 2011 | By | 1,594 Comments

japanswimshow

An interview with Heal Japan’s founder Chris Walthall, to find out more about Heal Japan, and how your donation money will to REAL people affected by the recent disasters…

SWELL: What is Heal Japan?
Chris: Heal Japan is an organization dedicated to benefiting the victims of the recent disasters that have taken place in Japan. Our goal is to collect $50,000 by the end of June. Funds will be delivered IN PERSON as soon as it is safe to do so.

SWELL: How did you come up with the idea to put something like this together?
Chris: The idea came to me at work actually! I was speaking to a client and out of nowhere all these ideas just came to me. After I got off the phone I started drawing shirts designs and a game plan for how I wanted the organization to function. I wanted to be the one held accountable for where the money went. If I could go and speak with people about the cause and “put a face to the name” that they were familiar with, I knew it would be effective. With so many people in this unimaginable situation, I just had to do something. So many people are willing to be a part of making positive changes in and around our community. I decided it was time to do my part. I called a close friend of mine and asked to go to lunch. We got together at a restaurant that same day and threw a bunch of ideas around. Right then and there he dedicated some funds to have wristbands and t-shirts made in exchange for donation. Without the help of my incredible friends who have done so much to make this happen, it just would not have been possible.

SWELL: When exactly do you plan on going to Japan? And do you have a charity in mind that you would like the money to go to?
Chris: As of now we’re thinking it will be close to a year before it is safe to go there ourselves. It’s just unreal how much damage the affected areas have sustained. It’s likely that it will be close to a year before we can go in person.
Our plan is to go to Japan and deliver the funds to charity ourselves. We want to make certain that the money goes to REAL people affected by the recent disasters. We are in the works of selecting a like-minded organization that will work closely with us in completing our goals. We are also very open to speaking with others and hearing new ideas in order to be as effective as possible.

SWELL: Why Japan? There are so many horrible things that could use benefit, what made you choose Japan? (Not saying it isn’t a mighty fine choice!)
Chris: When I really think about it, it was all about the timing. Around the same time as the earthquake and tsunami, my father was hospitalized. It was one of the most difficult situations I’ve ever been in. It’s so frightening to see a parent fighting for their lives. You think your dad is a super hero, but in reality we are all human. You don’t really know what it’slike until it happens. By the grace of God he’s still alive and making a smooth recovery. I took a step back and thought about the situation. That was my own personal earthquake and tsunami. If I thought what I had to deal with was hard, the people of Japan are facing some exponentially more difficult. We cannot even fathom what their situation is like. It’s on my heart to help, so I’m going to.

SWELL: Is there anything else you would like to add to this lovely Q & A that you think our readers show know?
Chris: I’d like to thank everyone who has helped make this possible: John Cohen, David Vanderveen, Ryah Arthur, Clarke Brogger, Dylan Fait, Steven Chew, and Chanel Sonego. The list goes on and on. Basically all of my friends and family. You know who you are. I’m just so blessed to have these people around me. It’s unreal.
Please check out our website HEALJAPAN.ORG, join our Facebook group and invite your friends, and do whatever you can to help spread the word. No matter how big or small your efforts, ALL of it makes a difference. God Bless! -CHRIS

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Breaking News: Cute Girls (& Bikinis) Help Heal Japan

May 4th, 2011 | By | 2,809 Comments

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Join SWELL, babes and bikinis to help Heal Japan. This Saturday, May 7th, SWELL will be sponsoring the Heal Japan swimwear show in beautiful Laguna Beach, California at the Blue Laguna Restaurant & Lounge. The show will feature SWELL’s newest swim lines to hit the site, plus a few sneak peak styles to be available later this month! Bikini-clad babes will be struttin’ in Eberjey, Salt Swimwear and Luli Fama (to name a few). A percentage of profits will be donated to HealJapan.org, a non-profit organization determined to raise funds to bring to Japan in person and give to the people of Japan that have been and are continued to be affected by the disastrous earthquake and tsunami. Heal Japan was started by Laguna Beach local Chris Walthall and professional surfer (and swell model) Ryah Arthur.

Come back later today for a Q&A with Chris!! Anyone can come to the show (anyone 21+ that is), so you should definitely be there! It’s only a $5 entrance fee and the towels drop at 10:30pm. See you there!

Water Spouts & Flash Floods Slam into Honolulu

May 3rd, 2011 | By | 3,068 Comments

May 2, 2011 – Violent weather hit the Ala Moana Harbor causing heavy rain, hail, severe lightning, and dual water-spouts. After hours of this activity, 60,000 Honolulu area residents were left without power, while fire-crews responded to dozens of flooding reports. As far as we know there were no injuries.
dual spouts
These photos were taken by a friend of SWELL as the dual water-spouts enter the Ala Moana Harbor.

If these water-spouts reach land they are considered tornadoes. Notice the airplane in the background. Could you imagine if it was carrying passengers escaping the destruction of tornado alley!? Scary sight.
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From the Catwalk to the Boardwalk

May 3rd, 2011 | By | 1,605 Comments

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(left: Ralph Lauren Spring 11 (www.style.com) / right: L*Space Stardust )

From the runway to the beach, swim lines are interpreting the biggest trends from fashion’s most renowned designers. I’ve always been intrigued to see an idea trickle from couture to your closet. Ralph Lauren’s fringe-trimmed nod to American Western takes center stage in this stand-out L*Space Stardust Fringe one-piece suit, while Missoni’s delicate knitwear is interpreted in a bold zigzag print from Undrest bikinis. Fashion today is now accessible more than ever, and I love that I am able to express my individuality, even in the water; wearing my favorite trends on the sunny beaches of Southern California. And as Katy Perry once said, “California girls, we’re undeniable!”
What is your favorite swim trend this year?