This is a life changing event for all that participate. From the special surfers, to their parents, to the Special Ops surf teams that help the mobility challenged surfers, to the surf team volunteers who tirelessly keep the enthusiasm and fun in the surfing, to the "land volunteers" who make sure the special surfers and their parents are welcomed and suited up for their afternoon of fun - this is a tremendous event that just keeps giving to all involved. To see a child who has challenges, not want to touch a wet suit get transformed into a smiling kid who does not want to leave the water, you can't imagine what a significant event this truly is. It is now run three times during the summer months and the participants are looking for more! This entire event is managed through the hard work of Nanci Boutet and her team and about 300+ volunteers who give their time enthusiastically on the day as well as some very special donors. I've never seen anything like this and am privileged to be just a small part of a very big idea.
Without sharing her photo how can I describe the most amazing smile on my daughter's face the very first time she got up on the surf board and rode it all the way in? Or the tears rolling down my face as her mother? My child looks 'normal' however she is far from it. She struggles to learn to read and write, struggles with friendships, intense feelings, debilitating anxiety and more. She has been kicked out of programs, bombed out of others. With Aquaholic's Special Surfer's program she is surrounded by caring volunteers, in water- which she loves- and gets to experience success. Now she has something she can talk about at school. Amazing!!! From a very grateful Mom.
What a gift to our community! Kindness and compassion flow, but so does good old surfing fun! Aquaholics Special Surfers welcomes all kids and special needs adults who otherwise might not be able to enjoy surfing and makes sure each one has their chance to be out in the water, on a board and flying. The smiles and joy and sheer fun had on both sides of the board are beautiful. With the help of Special Surfers, my children overcame fear, and nerves, and pain. They were just 2 kids out on the waves learning to surf and soar. Thank you for giving them that experience, that freedom!