Interviews
Interview - Chris Franzi


Interview: Chris Franzi, Oz For A Cause: 8th September 2004

Media Man Australia interviews the man behind one of the most ambitious charity enveavors in recent memory.

What's your background?

Three average guys born and raised in Southern California, and one Aussie from Canberra, ACT. Some of our interests include: surfing. skateboarding, movies, cycling, photography, videography, music and art.

What is "OZ for a Cause"?

In short Oz for a Cause is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge to raise global awareness and money to benefit underprivileged children and the environment. The cause embraces the concept of educating youth honestly and encouraging them by example to realize their potential to affect the world in a positive way.

What are your aims and objectives?

Little picture: complete the ride, make a great film/series, have fun. Big picture: serve as an example to young people and show the power that lies in humanity/youth when we unite under an optimistic vision.

How did you arrive with the idea?

We had a desire to do something remarkable for ourselves and others. We were thinking of doing something physically demanding and challenging, and at the same time do it for a positive cause. The final product has evolved over time into it's current state.

What is your motivation?

Too many to list them all, but of course our family and friends. We also choose to be aware of what our world is evolving into and want to actively help shape the future in a positive way.

Where do you draw your belief and determination from?

It's kind of an individual question for all the riders, but in general I guess you could you could refer to the previous question about out motivation. Our belief is based on an optimistic perspective of the world and the theory that if you fight evil with evil, evil always wins. That being said we have adopted a project that is outside of the box and through positive integration with an acute awareness for the world's treatment of humanity and the environment, our determination really is just a by product of being humans ourselves and being unwilling to just sit by and watch thing happens.

Why is teamwork an important part of projects, and life in general?

This project would be nothing without teamwork, and by teamwork, we don't mean just the four of us. We really have a goal of inspiring and showing the unity and support of all the youth and adults alike that have embraced the project. Teamwork is what holds this vision together by getting others involved, and if we all contribute a little, we can do a lot. Many hands make light work. If 4 young fellas can come together for a goal then exponentially the world could possibly work in unison!

How did you decide what charities to support in your endeavors?

Growing up in southern California by the beach, we had an immediate connection with Surfrider foundation and the importance of clean beaches and oceans. The Child Foundation was an instant match due to the great conversations and enthusiasm with some great board members. We truly believe that we live in an interdependent global community and the loss of any human civilization or beliefs is a loss for the world as a whole. The more we integrate and educate the next generations about how we are all alike with the same dreams and experience joy, love, sadness, etc… the more people realize the difference in reacting and following blindly compared to responding with an understanding of human nature.

Explain the film connection?

Beside the fact that this will be an incredible feat we want to document, we feel it is the best medium to reach young people and help achieve our goal of getting the world to entertain the thought of what is possible when we unite under a positive goal. There isn't time for complacency in a world that destroys so much based on fear.

What media support have you achieved thus far?

We have had support through Chris's workplace (he works with advertising) and also great support through Media Man Australia. The greatest inspiration for us as far as getting the word out their has been very grass roots and we have had thousands of kids already join our site just by word of mouth. Once the "media" jumps on the story we will have a much louder voice. We have issued a national press release in the U.S. which has been receiving a lot of attention from independent news sources and numerous websites have posted it but we are amateurs and still need to spread the word further. Any help we can get will be unreal and awesome.

How does the Internet assist you?

Completely instrumental not only for research, contacts, advertising, etc… we have an outlet that is accessible to million and millions of young people that can read about what we are doing, follow the trip, and hopefully be inspired to make even little changes in their daily lives which can exponentially grow and change the world into one based on helping others and not fearing the differences that compliment the world. Please visit our site at www.ozforacause.com

What sort of bikes will you be riding?

We will be riding touring bikes (kind of like a road racer but more sturdy) with trailers and baskets for all our equipment etc. To be specific we are in talks with Giant bikes about the OCR touring model, but could be persuaded to try something else.

What Australian beaches do you hope to check out and surf at?

Bells, Kirra, The Box, Tarcoola beach, back beaches in Geraldton, Torquay Beach near Geelong, and many many more…

What are you expecting in the Australian outback?

It's hard to fully anticipate with only research from the internet, but we have some ideas… Lots of wildlife and unreal sites. We are hoping to see Kangaroo's, Koala's and Wombats. We will hopefully not be seeing too many vicious snakes or spiders. We will also hopefully be meeting with an aboriginal tribe so that we can experience some of their sacred traditions.

Will you miss LA?

hahah....NO! Ok, maybe a little from time to time.

When will your journey commence and when do you expect to have achieved your goal?

Feb. - Oct. 2005

What's your motto?

We haven't quite finished our "four musketeers motto", but we definitely adopt some great quotes:

"WHEN FIRE AND WATER ARE AT WAR, IT IS THE FIRE THAT LOSES" -Spanish Proverb

"Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric." "Bertrand Russell

"unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." Einstein

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " - Martin Luther King Jr.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle

"Perhaps better we not obscure the idea that happiness and misery, kindness and greed, and good works and bad deeds are within the capacities of us all, not merely a select few." - Barbara Mikkelson

"All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume." - Noam Chomsky

...end.

Editors note: We look forward to seeing them "down under" in Australia.

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