Bert entered his first sand contest with his brother and 4 friends at the Carmel Beach Sand Castle Contest. They took 1st place, The coveted “Golden Shovel”.
In 1990, Bert got a copy of the book, “The Art of Sand Castling”, which included a listing of several contests close enough to drive to. Bert started recruiting friends to be on teams, and teaching those friends sand sculpture techniques.
In 1993, while volunteering as a raft guide for Inner City Outings, (part of the Sierra Club); Bert got the idea of hosting a sand sculpture contest as a fundraiser. He matched an NPO that had willing teammates with a master sculptor with talent to a sponsor with $$.
The first year 13 teams earned a total of $16,000.
ICO won the contest. Sponsored by Kellogg’s, the sculpture was of an 8ft tall Tony the Tiger paddling a 25ft long river raft with a Spoon. In the front of the boat were Snap, Crackle and Pop. On the side the boat was the Kellogg logo, and the other side the ICO logo.
ICO won $1000 from the contest. $5000 from Kellogg’s, and they got the front cover of the Peninsula section of the San Francisco Chronicle the next day. Kellogg’s loved it.
In 1995 Bert moved near Portland OR with an electronics company. There he was contacted by a local NPO about helping with a sand sculpture contest they wanted to try.
Bert took his knowledge of sand sculpture contests, teaching sand sculpture technique, ropes course team building, and delivering publicity to sponsors, and gave birth to Sand in the City®.
Since then, Sand in the City® has netted $Millions for the NPOs involved.
Beyond Sand in the City®, Bert also does Display sculptures, Wedding sculptures, Proposal sculptures, Competes in Master's level contests, and has been known to carve some serious Pumpkins too.