There is a new feeling being generated here in Flagler Beach, and the momentum is coming straight from the surf community. Generally surfers of the past have faced a stigma of glazed over lazy saltwater simpletons, but the truth I’ve found is that after a great day of surfing, life can just slow down. An appreciation of nature and the bare essentials crowds out the rat race of consumption, as you search for the goat trail in life, placing one foot in front of the other.
It has been a thought in my mind that if the surf community here would build, the life we are searching for will follow.
This vision is becoming clear.
The beginning of this movement for good totally started with the Tommy Tant Surf Classic. Initiated by students at FPC and organized by our longtime surf shop Z-wave, this event continues to change lives at an extraordinary pace, catapulting brother Will Tant into superhero stardom, as we all recently viewed Co-host with Kelly Ripa, which was more of the show than I have ever watched (almost:) Following in the Tant family footsteps, Haley Watson began her May Day Memorial Surf Contest in honor of her mother, which from an outsider’s perspective has created a change in her that must keep her mother’s smile beaming with light. In another tragic circumstance, and another life gone to the eternal wave ride, Mike “Bowler” Cristello lost a battle with Melanoma skin cancer but to offset the sorrow friends and family launched into action creating mass awareness in the need for sun prevention with a fashion show, free skin screens, and an essay contest sponsored by Sully’s Surf Shop and the Flagler Surf Club.
But it doesn’t end there…at the beginning of the surf club’s formation, the goal was to get kids and families together with the pretense that it takes a village to raise a child and children need a healthy place to let their energies abound. The success has blown the minds of the founders and in an effort to keep the positive vibe spreading, they recently held one of their club contests specifically for the US Armed Forces, calling it “Waves for Soldiers.” The effort turned into hundreds of dollars in care packaged items sent overseas to troops in Afghanistan. And then there are the local surf camps like Z-Wave and North Beach Surf Adventures giving kids major stoke and the Flagler Surf Series raising opportunity to make a few coin for your surf skills.
And now the latest in Surfing for the greater good. August 18th has just been declared “Surfers for Autism” Day in Flagler Beach with the Founder Don receiving an official proclamation and two high fives for his amazing will and efforts in changing the lives of children believed to be unreachable. It truly is an amazing transformation for everyone here and the great part is that everyone is invited to surf the ride. So mark it on your calendar — August 18th– Surfer’s For Autisim– gracing the north side of the Pier–Volunteers needed, Spectators wanted. It’s Gonna Be Radical! Cheers!
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