- Posted August 10, 2015 by
Los Angeles, California
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Autism Society of Santa Barbara Joined Project Save Our Surf for 12th Annual Beach Surf Day Story & photos by Christine Peake
PHOTO CREDIT/Christine Peake/peakPRgroup
1) David Pratt Director of Santa Barbara Symphony, VP PSOS Karon Pardue, Assemblymember Das Williams, President of Autism Society of Santa Barbara Marcia Eichelberger, war veteran Brad Fite, instructor Trae Candy and SB Seals Surf School owner JP Garcia
This weekend saw the 12th Annual surf day in Santa Barbara where the Autism Society of Santa Barbara and Los Angeles charity Project Save Our Surf partnered together to give over 40 Autistic children a special day they will surely never forget. Over a 100 volunteers came together to supervise the children as they rode the waves and were treated to kayaking and saw dolphins, seals and had the time of their lives. Parents drove from up to 5 hours away to join in the event which was created 11 years ago by President of the Autism Society of Santa Barbara, Marcia Elchelberger.
"This is something we started that was very small a few years ago, this was literally created by parents who came together to help provide the much needed services for families who deal with Autism as part of their everyday lives. I actually gifted my husband surf lessons on Christmas Eve and thought it would be a terrific way for him to enjoy a pastime with our child. It just grew from there. We are so proud of this day and the joy it provides for the wonderful children, not to mention it gives the parents a few hours to have a break and watch their beloved children have a great time."
Vice President of Project Save Our Surf Karon Pardue worked tirelessly on the event and watched with pride as her hard work unfolded, her son Trae an accomplished surfer was hands on as he taught the children the basics of surfing. "I am proud to be a part of PSOS," said Mrs Pardue, "I am also proud of my son and everyone who gave up their time today, this is a such a great, much needed partnership with the Autism Society of Santa Barbara."
CEO and Founder of PSOS actress, surfer and activist Tanna Frederick was unable to attend the event due to her commitment starring in Dutchman, but was hands on in the planning of the event, "I am so proud of what we are trying to achieve said Frederick when reached for comment, "we are really looking forward to the next one in Santa Monica and, these are my favorite days at the beach, nothing gives me more joy than to achieve happiness and give back to such wonderful appreciative families."
Volunteers who came to support include Director of the Santa Barbara Symphony David Pratt who was so moved by the day he invited the Autism Society to bring the children for a special concert. "Music is such a great outlet for these children and their parents," said Mr Pratt, "we want to support and help anyway we can with the community."
Purple Heart veteran Brad Fite also came to help on his way to promote his new book Life After Death and had a great time in the water with the kids. "This is what life is about, " said Fite, "I came to say hello and I was wearing a wetsuit within minutes. Giving back and counting our blessings for what we have is so important, we all have our own struggle to deal with, so this is a terrific way for me to help out, a couple of hours can bring a smile."
Devoted parents to two children with Autism, Mrs Miranda Brown and her husband Roger Brown drove over four hours to the event from Tulare County, which was held at Campus Point at the UCSB. Mrs Brown beamed as she watched her sons, nine year old Dillon and nineteen years old Nathan enjoy kayaking with volunteer Oliver Peake, who drove up from Santa Monica to help out. Mrs Brown said, "we have very little resources where we live for Autism, so this is an event we are prepared to make the drive for, our children love it here. Truly a day to remember."
Volunteers and instructors came from far and wide and included: Dos Pueblos Surf Team, San Marcus surf team Summer Bosse, Oli Schultz, Skyler Rosseau, Natalie Valdez, Holly Bosse, Brian Bosse, Bishop High School's Bella Reichard and Amelia Szabo, EF International language school students Lola Woestyn, Doris Yang, Julia Becker, Poppy and Anna.
Instructors included: JP Garcia,Trae Candy, Evan Fuller, Colin Bosse, Daniel Robinson, Adam Thea Neushul, Michaela Bostwick, Greg Loshak, Natalia Valdez and Oliver Peake.
As the day came to a close the hungry children, surfers and instructors enjoy a free lunch kindly donated from Wholefoods, Chipotle and Honest Ade drinks.
For more information how you can get involved go to: