Lady Arm Wrestlers Come to Long Beach for Clean LB’s 3rd Anniversary

Photo by Billy Hunt

Three years and 7,680 pounds of marine debris later and Long Beach’s coolest monthly beach clean-up is still going strong. So strong, in fact, that for Long Beach Clean Up’s (aka Clean LB) third anniversary this weekend, organizer Stefanie Matthews invited a team of professional lady arm wrestlers to help her out with a fundraiser after party. 

Dubbed the “Over the Top for Mother Nature” wrestling contest, the event encourages volunteers and clean-beach advocates to “pick up some trash and then talk some trash” after Saturday’s hour-long Junipero Beach cleanup, which will take place at its regular 10AM start time. Members of Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers are coming down to participate, something they often do as part of their mission statement to strengthen communities through philanthropy.

Register as a contestant or show up as a spectator (men and women are both welcome!) and bet on who will win as people in homemade costumes with cheeky roller derby-esque stage names (think: Heather Weizen and ARMageddon) go hand-to-hand at The Pike Bar & Grill. Participants will also be entered in a raffle to win prizes from Volcom and Element.

cleanlb3rdanny“The motto ‘Over the Top for Mother Nature’ is a homage to the ’80’s Sylvester Stalone movie and carries the message that you have to fight for what you love–in this case, our beach,” said Matthews. “We want to make this beach enjoyable again for residents and visitors alike. It’s is a constant ‘wrestling’ battle and we hope to bring more awareness to the devastating state of our coastline with events like this.”

Though bike tune-ups, massages and refreshments are donated by local companies for the 60-plus volunteers each month, Matthews says that the clean-up project she started as a way to build community and battle the constant garbage that floats onto our local shores does cost some money to operate. 

In addition to printing flyers and buying supplies like gloves, trash bags and grabbers, there are also things that have put a bigger dent in her and her team’s wallet like a new canopy and logo banners. The Clean LB crew has only hosted one fundraiser before–on its first anniversary–and occasionally receives donations, but this year’s birthday is an opportunity to engage more people in the project and cover some costs in the process.

Proceeds from the event will go towards maintaining Clean LB’s monthly needs, with the remainder being donated to the Long Beach chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit that has become closely aligned with the group, even setting up tables at every clean up to share their vision for a healthier Long Beach beachfront.

“No matter what issue Long Beach faces regarding it’s coastline, the Long Beach Surfriders are getting involved to work on a solution,” Matthews said. “Most important to us is that any money raised through the fundraiser goes right back to the beach.”

August’s 3rd Anniversary Clean LB beach cleanup will take place Saturday, August 10 at 10AM at Junipero Ave. and the beach. “Over the Top for Mother Nature,” the arm-wreslting contest and 3rd anniversary fundraiser will take place at The Pike (1836 E. 4th St.) starting at 2PM. To sign up as a contestant, email [email protected]. For more information, visit the Facebook event page. 

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