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BEHIND THE SCENES / ORANGE COUNTY

Hip Hoop Hooray

May 22, 1997

Justin Rudd didn't win the Hula-Hoop contest (he was runner-up), but he wasn't bitter about his defeat.

Rudd was happy to be involved with a good cause: The contest was part of a charity event for Friends in Service to Humanity (FISH), a community outreach service that catches people before they become hungry or homeless.

The Wild Isle event at Back Bay Cafe at the Newport Dunes Resort in Newport Beach raised money ($3,000) and awareness for the organization, which serves Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Irvine.

FISH lends a hand to struggling families by paying their rent or utility bills, says the Dunes' Erica Schmidt.

Two hundred supporters whooped it up at the tiki-lighted outdoor cafe last Thursday, dancing to the Jeffrey John Band, forming conga lines and ducking under a limbo bar.

And, of course, there was the fiercely competitive Hula-Hoop contest.

Rudd lost to Debra Franzi.

"A woman has hips and can rest the Hula-Hoop on them, but since my shape is just straight, I have to put a lot more back-and-forth and side-to-side motion into keeping that Hula-Hoop up," Rudd says.

"Everyone there was laughing at me because I was working so hard. I was moving at twice the speed of any female contender."

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