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By Kelly A. Shannon

It never ceases to amaze me how there is always an excuse to celebrate, and this was no exception. I dressed in my most stylish surfer chic ensemble (aka black skinny jeans and a floral print top) and headed to Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, where Billabong hosted its 6th annual Design For Humanity fundraiser. While my Southern California outfit choice fit in with all those around me (we can be so unoriginal), the event was held on a set of the streets of New York City.

Celebrating an evening of art, fashion and music, Design For Humanity (held on July 30, 2012) raised over $110,000 in ticket sales alone to support the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, an organization that promotes sustainable agriculture, family farming, and culinary education. Chipotle had mini-restaurants set up on the New York City streets where they served super tasty tacos, which was impressive for serving a sold-out crowd of 5,000 guests.

“We are thrilled to have been selected as this year’s Design for Humanity beneficiary,” said Chris Arnold, spokesman for the Cultivate Foundation. “Billabong’s generous contribution enables us to put money in the hands of organizations like Veggie U, and to support food education in thousands of elementary and special needs classrooms.”

Design For Humanity began as an opportunity for Billabong’s marketing, art, and design teams to come together and give back to a non-profit that relates to the surf and lifestyle brand. An art auction took place inside one of the New York City buildings, while mini-music festival took place outside on the streets. Two stages hosted back-to-back entertainment throughout the evening, which included musical performances by Imagine Dragons, Walk The Moon, (my personal favorite) The Lumineers, and The Joy Formidable. Skullcandy DJ Mike Relm took the stage late, transitioning the party from night into the early morning. There was also a much-hyped runway fashion show exhibiting Billabong swimwear, but we chose to eat tacos at Chipotle that those models wouldn’t dare lay a finger on instead.

Kelly Shannon is a native Californian & journalist who believes each of our unique lifestyles creates our very own way of life; from our preferences of art & literature to fashion & music. Deeply intrigued by the creators and innovators of trends, style, and vitality, she is also the Editor in Chief of MMJ.

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