Eddy Medora Memorial Fund
Eddy with Carol Connors and Barbi Benton
Reef Check Board Member Eddy Medora passed away on 26 October, 2006 following a brief respiratory illness. Eddy was a California kid, who began working in earnest in the 7 th grade playing lead guitar for “the Renegades”, a garage band that rehearsed in his parent’s home in Pacific Palisades. Later Eddy became the lead guitarist and saxophone player for “the Sunrays”, playing all over West Los Angeles. In 1963 Eddy met Carl and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, who introduced the Renagades to their father, Murray Wilson, who was looking for another group to manage. A string of hits followed, including I Live for the Sun and Andrea, and were released by Tower Records. The band played (singing in five part harmonies) under several names, including “The Snowmen”, “The Rangers”, and finally “The Sunrays”. For great photos and stories about Eddy’s early life please visit the Sunrays website at http://sunrays718.tripod.com/id1.html and an interview at http://www.earcandymag.com/sunrays.htm
The Sunrays performed with a seemingly endless list of music greats, including the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, Neil Sedaka, the Loving Spoonful, the Righteous Brothers and Neil Diamond. They played such venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Disneyland and the Cow Palace, and were featured on every major television show devoted to music during the fifties and sixties, including Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, Casey Kasem’s Shebang, and “Hollywood-a-Go-Go”.
Eddy’s first job was working as a designer at Barker Brothers Design Centers, and his clients included Lorne Green of Bonanza fame, Jimmy Durante, Dean Martin and Bob Hope. Eddy’s talents as a painter were developed more recently, and he was in high demand for his portraits in Beverly Hills. His work can be seen at: http://medorapaintings.tripod.com. Eddy was very generous, and donated a number of his paintings to Reef Check auctions, including Reef Rescue ‘06.
Eddy was best known in the entertainment community as the beloved National Marketing Director for the Walt Disney Company, where he worked from 1970 until his retirement in 2000. In his thirty years at Disney Eddy met and befriended all of Hollywood, and his passing has left every one of his friends and family with a heavy heart and endless memories of Eddy’s wit and charm. Eddy’s lively good humor was a constant source of energy and laughter at Board Meetings and events. He was one of the key designers of the “Inhabitants” Las Vegas show and our annual Reef Rescue event. His advice on marketing and sales was invaluable in the development of the Reef Check EcoAction program that includes a variety of books and educational programs.
Eddy will be remembered forever for his irascible humor and for the wonderful stories that were made even richer through the prism of Eddy’s humor and love of life. At the request of his lovely wife Joann and his beautiful children Nicole and Christopher we have established a Memorial Fund that will carry his name and that will be used to fund the Reef Check California program so that we can continue to care for the reefs where Eddy used to play. We will also name a California reef survey site after Eddy and carry out an annual survey there in his name. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, you may use the PayPal button or simply send your check to Reef Check Foundation, P.O. Box 1057, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 and make a note that your gift is to support the Eddy Medora Memorial Fund.
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