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Friends of East Beach Association

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FOEBA -- Its Origins

Santa Barbara is justifiably proud of many of its cultural and natural settings. East Beach is certainly one of its most beautiful, with mountains and sea sandwiching a swarm of volleyball courts, a cradle of some of the sport's most vivid legends. The late Henry Bergmann was our city's first dominant figure on the national beach volleyball scene, with Olympians Karch Kiraly, Dax Holdren and Todd Rogers carrying on a tradition of gold medals, integrity and world class excellence.

To commemorate Henry Bergmann's unique abilities, dedication and spirit, a group of his admirers and friends formed a group to raise funds for a memorial in his name. Friends of Henry Bergmann organized a get-together to honor him and over a hundred people came from all over California to celebrate. They bought t-shirts, shared memories and donated funds to the establishment of a fitting tribute to the man, the athlete and the friend. A new state of the art court named for Henry, will soon be the main volleyball facility at East Beach where Henry spent so much of his time and his soul.

To direct remaining funds from the Bergmann memorial, the Friends of East Beach Association (FOEBA) was established, dedicated to raising additional financial support and continuing to upgrade East Beach volleyball courts, many of which need it badly. It would be a sustained tribute to Henry and the others through the years who have made this arena a big part of their lives and such a source of pride for our community. In collaboration with the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department, that project is now underway. Those who cherish this city treasure and recognize its value for families, young people and active adults are encouraged to join FOEBA in our efforts to keep our courts the finest on the Pacific Coast. It is a goal that would make Henry smile.

 Officers & Board of Directors

 Scott Wardlaw - President
 Roger Perry - Vice President
 Jon Lee - Secretary
 Win Collins- Treasurer
 Eric Arneson
 Gary M. Bright
 Dave Campbell
 Gary Costantino
 Neal Rasmussen

 

 

east Beach Volleyball courts

Advisory Board

Mike Dodd - Olympic Silver Medalist, AVP Commissioner
Karch Kiraly - Three time Olympic Gold Medalist
Todd Rogers - 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist
Ron Von Hagen - Winner of 62 Open Tournaments
Laszlo Kiraly - Past Treasurer

Letters of Support

February 24, 2010

Dear Ms. Rapp,

On behalf of my fellow alumni of the Santa Barbara High School Class of 1962 I am writing this letter in support of constructing a special court on East Beach, paying tribute to our late classmate Henry Bergmann.

Henry Bergmann was a soft spoken student, loved and respected for his friendly and humble character. He was also known as a highly talented athlete who represented our school as a basketball player. His hard work and dedication to his chosen sport of beach volleyball were legendary and earned our respect and admiration.

He perfected his volleyball skills on East Beach and in a short few years after graduation he rose to the top of the volleyball world . His unrivaled power, fluidity of movement and work ethic led him to challenge the icons of that era of beach volleyball. In the late sixties and seventies he won fifteen tournaments along the California coast and forever solidified his position as one of the sport's all time best.

Henry Bergmann helped establish East Beach as a mecca of beach volleyball and was the first of Santa Barbara's many world class graduates of his sport. Establishing a Henry Bergmann Memorial Court, while celebrating his life and the sport, so important to Santa Barbara, would also serve as a recognition of East Beach as a vital component of sporting life and recreation in the community.

By helping to raise funds for this project, many of our classmates as well as SBHS graduates of other years have clearly expressed their support. We hope that you and your staff will find it possible to approve the construction of this memorial.

Very truly yours,

Jan Haight Roberta
Santa Barbara High School
Class of 1962 Alumni Committee


May 17, 2010

Dear Ms. Rapp,

I am writing to strongly endorse the efforts of the Friends of East Beach Association to
upgrade the equipment of the beach volleyball courts at East Beach.

To start this process, I believe it would be most appropriate to convert the main court
and name it in honor of Santa Barbara's iconic pioneer beach volleyball player Henry
Bergmann who blazed the trail for many of us back in the '60s and 70s. Playing on that
court will provide aspiration for today's generation to excel in the sport of beach
volleyball.

The subsequent planned and much needed improvement of the rest of the courts as
fundsbecome available will raise the standards to a national level for competitors as
well recreational players of all ages.

I got my start with my dad Laszlo at the age of six right at East Beach - and in all of my
travels I've learned how special a beach Santa Barbara has there, absolutely one of the
best in the world for beach volleyball. This project is an exciting opportunity to provide
Santa Barbara's youth with the same passion ignition that I received as a kid.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this endeavor.

Sincerely Yours,

Karch Kiraly
3-time Olympic Gold medalist
Indoors '84, '88, Beach '96


May 14, 2010

Dear Ms. Rapp,

I would like to endorse wholeheartedly the efforts of the Friends of East Beach
Association to upgrade the equipment of the beach volleyball courts at East Beach.

To start this process it would be most appropriate to convert the main court and name it
in honor of Santa Barbara's iconic pioneer, beach volleyball player Henry Bergmann,
who blazed the trail for many of us back in the sixties and seventies. Playing on that
court will provide aspiration for today's generation to excel in the sport of beach
volleyball.

The subsequent planned and much needed improvement of the rest of the courts as
funds become available will raise the standards to a national level for competitors as
well as recreational players of all ages.

My Olympic gold medalist partner, Phil Dalhausser and I practice at East Beach
regularly and are looking forward to the successful completion of this process.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this endeavor.
Sincerely yours,

Todd Rogers
2008 Olympic Gold medalist
Beach Volleyball
Beijing 2008


Dear Nancy,

I am a proud board advisor for the Friends of East Beach Association. As a former player, Olympian and now Commissioner of the AVP I can't express the pride and honor I feel to be involved with the Friends of East Beach and their desire to not only honor a great champion and Santa Barbara icon Henry Bergman but also upgrade all the other courts at East Beach.

As a young man with nothing but dreams, Henry Bergman represented all that was good with beach volleyball. Athleticism combined with integrity (sportsmanship) were the cornerstones of what Henry Bergman represented. later on, as I began to compete and reach for my dreams, East Beach along with State Beach in Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach in the South Bay represented the best beaches not only for their natural beauty but also the tradition of volleyball excellence.

Now as Commissioner, embracing the history of our game is fundamental to understanding how we can best lead it into the future. East Beach is a profound part of that history. To that end, it is my hope that you approve these plans to honor Henry and preserve one of our sports historical treasures.

I thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration.

Mike Dodd
AVP Commissioner
AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour
www.avp.com


January 25, 2010

Dear Dr. Lazlo Kiraly and Roger Perry,

I am proud to let you know that the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara
5emana Nautica Association, at our meeting on the 21st of January 2010,
unanimously approved of your concept of a Legacy Court to commemorate the
excellence of the caliber of volleyball players who have come from Santa
Barbara.

As you know, the game of volleyball has been one of the sports that has had
valuable and constant support by the local community. This support has been
validated by the success of local athletes in the game throughout the world.

As you recall, our association has been involved with promoting the game of
volleyball for many years, through our putting on our Summer Sports Festival
each summer, with the Co-Sponsorship Agreement we have with the City of
Santa Barbara. The Masters Volleyball contests and the Bud Light Women's
Open Volleyball Tournament are both examples of our ongoing support of the
game of volleyball.

Please continue your Quest of the Legacy Court to recognize the community's
and the individual competitor's contribution to the sport of volleyball. Please use
our support in any way to further your goal of erecting the Legacy Courts.

Sincerely,

Rich Hanna, President
Santa Barbara Semana Nautica Association


Dear Ms. Rapp,

This letter is in support of naming the main volleyball court at East Beach in memory of the late Henry Bergmann. He was a friend, classmate, and teammate at both Santa Barbara High School and Santa Barbara City College.

Although an extremely talented athlete, Henry was known for his friendly and humble character. Athletically, he was more publicized as a starter on the varsity basketball team than a volleyball player.

I am sure you have been reminded of his legacy in beach volleyball. Although he was a man of few words, his exploits on the beaches of southern California are legendary. His "home" court was East Beach. In a short few years, he rose to the top of the volleyball world. His unrivaled skills and work ethic led him to challenge the icons of that era,
then became one of them himself. In the late sixties and seventies he won fifteen tournaments along the California coast and forever solidified his position as one of the sport's all time best. His hard work and dedication to beach volleyball were legendary.

He competed in relative anonymity to the general public, as press and TV coverage was non-existent for this sport. Most of his peers will tell you he was as impressive and dominant as Karch Kiraly before the days of videotape, ESPN, the internet, YouTube, text messaging, etc. The few home movies of him will reinforce your opinion of his skills.

Henry helped establish East Beach as a mecca of beach volleyball and was the first of Santa Barbara's many world class graduates of his sport. Establishing a Henry Bergmann Memorial Court, while celebrating his life and the sport, so important to Santa Barbara, would also serve as a recognition of East Beach as a vital component of sporting life
and recreation in the community.

By helping to raise funds for this project, our classmates as well as fellow SBHS alumni have clearly expressed their support. We hope that you and your staff will find it possible to approve the construction of this memorial.

Thank you for your time and effort in this matter.

Sincerely,

Steven H. Yoneda, MS, ATC
SBHS 1962
Emeritus
Head Athletic Trainer
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

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Friends Of East Beach Association (FOEBA)
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