Justin Rudd lived the first 26 years of his life in southeast Alabama. He was born and raised in the town of Ozark -- population 13,000. He has a fraternal twin brother and three sisters. He was class president all four years of high school and got a 12-year perfect attendance award at his high school's graduation. He received his business degree from Samford University -- Alabama's top-ranked private university -- and graduated as president of his senior class.
Justin moved to North Hollywood in Aug. 1995. In addition to his work in a restaurant and as a TV/movie extra, he sang for Disney at the world-premiers of Hunchback of Notre Dame and Mulan and was a Dicken's Caroler and sang in the Toy Story show at Disneyland. He also performed at the Hollywood Bowl, the Super Dome, Las Vegas, Disneyland and the historic El Capitan Theater in Hollywood.
Since arriving in Long Beach in 1997 he has dedicated his life for the good of the city. For several years he juggled a part-time public relations job, was a substitute school teacher, cleaned offices and restrooms, mowed lawns, taught group fitness classes at gyms, taught beach boot camp classes, coached pageant contestants for interviews, and organized and coordinated one successful community event after another. In 2001, he ended his PR job and filed paperwork to organize his 501c3 nonprofit organization called the "Community Action Team (CAT)."
He now devotes his time to CAT.
Some of the 50+ annual programs, contests and events he has started and continues to see succeed include: the Long Beach Giving Project; the monthly 30-Minute Beach Cleanups (16+ years of monthly cleanups); Long Beach Losers (team weight loss contest w/ 500+ contestants and approx. $40,000 jackpot); Operation Santa Paws (a national, holiday toy/treat collection drive for shelter pets); the $1,000 National Kids Spelling Bee; the $1,000 National Adult Spelling Bee; the Great American 4th of July Kids' Bike Parade; Red High Heels Walk; the So Cal Halloween Kids' Costume Contest; the Interfaith Blessing of the Animals; the Belmont Shore Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest; the Bulldog Beauty Contest; the National Mutt Show; pet adoption fairs; the Father/Daughter Valentine's Dance; Operation Easter Basket (collects/donates more than 2,500 baskets of toiletries/candy/art supplies/books/etc.); Mom Prom; Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade (500+ dogs dressed in outfits); Long Beach Turkey Trot 5K/10K (5,000+ runners/walkers); the Long Beach Bake-Off; and Little Miss/Teen/Miss/Mrs. Long Beach & Little Miss/Teen/Miss/Mrs. Southern California Cities pageants; the Haute Dog Poetry Contest; the Long Beach Polar Splash; tattoo and mustache/beard contests; Long Beach Touch-A-Truck.
His favorite project of the year is "Camp Justin!" where he provides a week-long day camp of meetings, adventures and experiences for a dozen economically-disadvantaged high school seniors.
In addition to raising money and collecting goods for his own nonprofit, he has provided help for breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, and homeless programs, and Long Beach public libraries. He hosts very successful annual clothing and canned food drives.
He has 45,000+ unique subscribers to his 22 e-newsletters covering topics such as dogs, volunteers, kids, Belmont Shore, fitness, weight loss, gay/lesbian issues, and beach cleanups.
He led the effort to start the dog beach in Long Beach - the only legal off-leash beach in Los Angeles County. It is named "Rosie's Dog Beach" after his late bulldog Rosie. He has been a hand double for Jim Carey, doesn't have a cell phone, hit the 5,000 friend limit on Facebook in less than a year, doesn't watch TV or go to movies, runs a few times a week. He's never had a cell phone, alcohol, coffee, or sushi, but is a huge fan of chocolate and chocolate chip cookies.
For the past three years he spent time in rural Kenya visiting AIDS orphans. He also visited dozens of families and photographed life in two of Nairobi's slums.
He ran a half marathon in Kenya in October 2014 and helps to raise funds and awareness for AIDS orphans. To train for it, he ran every street in Long Beach, averaging 5-7 miles at least 5 days a week (and completed 1,006 miles doing it) in Jan. 2014.
He created and moderates several Facebook fan pages, including:
His motto is, "Life is good, and getting better!"
He and his partner Ralph have been together for 14 years and live in Belmont Shore with their bulldog named POTUS.