ARCHIVED EVENT. Boardfest is held annually at the Huntington Beach Pier on Labor Day Weekend. see

HUNTINGTON BEACH , Calif. ' Hello Kitty Boardfest has upgraded the grand finale of its all-new, all-girl surf festival series to be held at the Huntington Beach Pier, October 15 to 17, 2004. The four-star, World Qualifying Series (WQS)-rated event will attract the world's best short and longboard surfers battling for an overall prize purse of $21,500.  SEE  Huntington Beach Events

Led by all-stars like Serena Brooke (AUS), Heather Clark (South Africa), Holly Beck (Palos Verdes) and Jacqueline Silva (Brazil), 64 world-class women, representing America, Australia, Brazil, France, Hawaii, South Africa, South America and New Zealand will compete in the $20,000 shortboard division. Mary Osborne (Santa Barbara) and Maureen Drummy (San Clemente) lead the 32 women strong, $1,500 longboard division. In addition to a check and trophy, winners in each division receive an ultra-cool Hello Kitty television.

Hello Kitty Boardfest is the next to last stop on the 2004 Surfing America Tour and will play a critical role in determining the sport's national champion. Along with the WQS season ending O'Neill Cold Water Classic (held the following weekend in Santa Cruz), Boardfest will help qualify competitors onto the elite 2005 World Championship Tour (WCT) since it is one of only four domestic events for women rated four-stars or above, the threshold required to impact the grand prix level.

'Hello Kitty Boardfest is a great opportunity for young American surfers to gain experience and valuable ratings points,' said Holly Beck, who is sponsored by Hello Kitty and helped define the Boardfest concept. 'American women now have a chance to qualify for the WCT without leaving home.'

An added bonus of Boardfest's October timeframe is the historically good weather and surf conditions at the famed Pier. According to's Sean Collins, "The weather in October is typically warm with light Santa Ana wind conditions a distinct possibility. We also receive a combination of swells from the South and Northwest in October, which create clean and
"peaky" waves at Huntington. This could create a scenario of epic conditions for the girls."

Hello Kitty Boardfest at Huntington Beach follows on the heels of the inaugural Hello Kitty-backed extravaganza, August 28 ' 29 at El Porto Beach (42nd Street, Manhattan Beach), won by Floridian Karina Patroni. A major hit with family members, friends and general beach-goers at El Porto ' to be expanded at Huntington ' was a variety of games and activities such as a rock climbing wall, moon bounce house, surf obstacle course, mechanical surfboard, sand castle building and hula-hoop contests open to the public, free-of-charge.

Helping bridge the gap between the top pros and America's next generation of competitive surfers, Holly Beck headlines daily surf clinics and is among the top women playing hands-on roles, educating and instructing surfer girls on how to take their surfing skills to the next level. HB Wahine Surf School is lending its knowledge and talented staff. Each paid clinic participant receives an incredible Hello Kitty goody bag, souvenir T-shirt, lunch and refreshments.

Each 'Hello Kitty Boardfest' clinic will culminate with participants competing in an actual team event featuring the same judges, announcers and contest staff utilized in the pro event. In addition to Holly, Prue Jeffries (AUS), Siri Coto (Calif.) and Mary Osborne are expected to coach and compete. Participation in the surf clinic requires an entry fee and spaces will be limited (details available at

'Sanrio (Hello Kitty parent company) wants to show our support for the girls and women who have made Hello Kitty the pop icon she is today,' says marketing director Bill Hensley. 'Boardfest, with its just-for-girls surf clinic and women's pro contests, is a great way to do just that.'

For consumer or entry information on 'Hello Kitty Boardfest', visit or, or call (714) 375-1132. For media information, contact Mike Kingsbury or Cherie Whyte, MKM, at (714) 375-2188 (not for publication).



International Icon Named As 'UNICEF Special Friend of Children'

NEW YORK, May 5, 2004 ' The U.S. Fund for UNICEF today proudly launched a partnership with Sanrio and its widely popular Hello Kitty' brand, which has been bringing smiles to the faces of girls for 30 years. Hello Kitty's 30th Anniversary Celebration, which is being launched on June 8 at Rockefeller Center, will benefit UNICEF's education programs.

In celebration of its 30-year anniversary, Hello Kitty is donating a minimum of $150,000 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for girls' education programs and is embarking on an advocacy program to educate fans about gender based discrimination in developing world schooling. Globally, there are some 10 million more girls out of school than boys.

"Education is vital to ensuring a better quality of life for all children and a better world for all people," said Charles J. Lyons, president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "We are grateful that Hello Kitty is taking this message to its many fans and encouraging them to support UNICEF. I have no doubt that with partners like Hello Kitty all children someday soon will receive a basic education regardless of their gender."

This is the third time Hello Kitty and UNICEF have joined forces. UNICEF first partnered with Hello Kitty in 1984 and again in 1994. In recognition of Hello Kitty's work on behalf of the world's children, she has been bestowed with the exclusive title, 'UNICEF Special Friend of Children.'
'Sanrio is proud to again be partnering with UNICEF,' said Bruce Giuliano, Sanrio's Vice President of Licensing. 'Girls are very important to the Hello Kitty brand, and an education is vitally important to every girl. We are very impressed with UNICEF's girls' education initiatives.'
Hello Kitty will encourage fans to help UNICEF end gender disparity in education by purchasing special Hello Kitty 30th Anniversary products, from which a portion of the proceeds will be donated to UNICEF. Information on other ways Hello Kitty fans can do their part to support UNICEF is available at The website will also have information on where to find the special 30th Anniversary products as they become available.

On display at the June 8 event will be a UNICEF School-in-a-Box, a metal box complete with all the tools a teacher would need to set-up a school in an emergency situation. The School-in-a-Box was instrumental in getting girls back into school after the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The School-in-a-Box will tour the United States with Hello Kitty to educate children and adults about the issue of girls' education. Other year long activities to raise money and awareness around the issue include a special auction of one-of-a-kind Hello Kitty items created by celebrity designers including Betsy Johnson, Judith Leiber, Isaac Mizrahi, Cynthia Rowley, Kimora Lee and Max Azria. The auction will take place at the Hello Kitty 30th Anniversary Gala to be held in late October in Los Angeles sponsored by Sanrio and Target.

About Girls' Education
Eighty-three percent of all girls out of school in the world live in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and the Pacific.
Being deprived of an education is catastrophic for all children, but for girls the fall-out is particularly severe and difficult to reverse. Girls denied an education are more vulnerable to hunger, violence, abuse, exploitation and trafficking. They are more likely to die in childbirth and are at greater risk of HIV/AIDS.
In addition to being disproportionately denied a primary education, girls are also more likely than boys to fail to complete secondary education because of early marriage and early pregnancy. The obligation to care for older relatives as well as younger siblings often means a girl is taken out of school before she has completed her studies
UNICEF believes that by ensuring that all girls get a basic education is a vital step toward reducing poverty, hunger and child mortality and stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS and other preventable diseases. Because girls generally face higher obstacles to education, removing those obstacles is the best way to ensure that enrollment increases for both boys and girls.
Specific measures to boost girls' enrollment include the prohibition of school fees of all kinds, the integration of education policies into national plans for poverty reduction, the inclusion of girls' education as an essential component of development efforts and increased international funding for education.

Founded in 1946, UNICEF helps save, protect and improve the lives of children around the world through immunization, education, health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation. UNICEF is non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority. For more information, please visit or call 1-800-4UNICEF.

This year, SANRIO celebrates 30 years of fun & friendship with its flagship character-brand, Hello Kitty. With fans around the world, Hello Kitty will mark the year with lively events, special products, contests and lots of fun. SANRIO develops, distributes and licenses a unique collection of over 12,000 gift, stationery and fashion accessory items for women of all ages. SANRIO was founded in 1960 based on the concept that a small gift can bring a big smile to a child of any age. Today there are over 300 SANRIO boutiques throughout the Western Hemisphere with 120 in the United States. In addition, SANRIO character products are sold in over 10,000 U.S. locations including department, specialty stores and national chain stores. For more information, please visit