Surfers for Autism
host the 5th Annual Suncoast Beach Festival
July 11th, 2015 from 9-4 pm
Location: Pass-A-Grille Beach
St. Pete Beach Fire Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office will also be attending with fun interactive exhibits and gear
On July 11th, the charming little beach town of Pass-A-Grille will be “hanging ten.”
Surfers for Autism, a 501 ©3 not for profit group, will be taking over the beach with a great cause in mind. The organization, which got its start in December ‘07, introduces the sport of surfing to children who are on the autism spectrum or have other kinds of developmental delays.
Autism affects many, but few truly understand it. Surfers for Autism wants to change that. By hosting the Suncoast Beach Festival, as well as several events throughout the state, the group hopes to eliminate stigma often associated with autism through awareness and education.
Helping children and young adults touched by the autism spectrum understand their full potential and capabilities is what Surfers for Autism strongly advocates. During an event, such as the upcoming Suncoast Beach Festival, children with autism and developmental delays will be able to interact with their ‘typical’ peers in a fun, safe and non-judgmental environment. They will be able to take part in a variety of activities such as surfing, paddle boarding, music, beach games and more. The minimum age to participate is four-years-old; there is no maximum.
And as mentioned prior, Surfers for Autism keeps it safe especially when it comes to water activities. Highly skilled and trained surfing instructors guide and assist the youth while in the ocean.
Surfers for Autism originated in South Florida nearly eight years ago when an idea was presented to a handful of surfers by a member whose life and family had been affected by autism. It wasn’t long before that idea began to take form and lead the group to its inaugural Deerfield Beach event held April 5, 2008. On that day, 40 surfers hit the waves and $10,000 was raised to benefit autism associated charities.
Since the inauguration, Surfers for Autism has been growing significantly. Some of its events have registered as many as 200 surfers, raising close to $20,000.
By hosting these fundraising events all around Florida’s beaches, autism awareness and research can be achieved and supported. In order for funding to be possible, local businesses are needed to donate their products and/or services for raffle prizes. Event specific t-shirts and tank sales also help raise monies.
So if you would like to help an extraordinary cause and support a community effort, come out this Saturday for the 5th Annual Suncoast Beach Festival and catch a wave with some amazing young people and their families. Surf’s up!