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Surf 4 Hugs Getting Bigger, So are the Smiles on the Kids and Families Faces

For the last 7 years around this time, my friends Brett and Dee Thomas and their kids Torrey and Leila whip up their Surf 4 Hugs day at the beach which benefit kids who have life threatening illnesses and their families.  I had shot a video for them a couple years back and was real excited for the turn-out then, but this years was just amazing.

There was a measurable increase in families participating in the Surf 4 Hugs this year at Kuhio Beach and even more volunteers than they needed.  Some of the volunteers were some of most recognizable Waikiki Beach Boys as well as members from HPD working together to bring a full day of surf lessons and canoe rides to the kids and their families.  Along with the dozens of volunteers that were participating, the island famous Rainbow Drive Inn from Kapahulu and Coca Cola Hawaii supplied lunch and snacks for the families and the volunteers and Koa Board Sports provided surfboards and water support.

For me, one of the brightest parts of my day was seeing some of the kids from a couple of years back looking great and loving the fact that Surf 4 Hugs was still there to bring the Aloha.  An other observation for me was how close some of these families are getting through their journey to bring as much fun to their kids.  There were at least a dozen kids in over-sized red rash guards building sand castles with moats as if they were the little prince and princesses living inside them.  Ah the days of unbridled imagination that could cure the world of its pains; these kids owned their world.

As I watched all the volunteers return from the surf lessons, the smiles on the kids faces were unreal.  As well, the smiles on the families whose day-to-day challenges can tax every emotion, the day seemed to have given them a much deserved relaxing few hours at the beach.  At the end of Surf 4 Hugs, every kid got a trophy and the cameras were flickering as this very special time for everyone involved got digitally stored.

These are very special kids with incredible parents that are supported by some of the most caring people I know.  Not just Brett, Dee, Layla and Tory,  but everyone from HUGS Organization and all the volunteers.  Can hardly wait until next year – Surf For Hugs just might to take over HALF the beach the way it’s growing.

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