Honoli’i Surf Gathering Planned for Children with Disabilities

From the Mayors Office:

The first annual Honoli’i Beach Park Surf Gathering and Surf Camp for children with Autism and other disabilities will be held on Sunday, December 27 at Honoli’i Beach Park.

The event is being sponsored by the Hawai’i chapter of Surfers Healing, a national organization started 12 years ago in San Clemente to share the experience of surfing with children with autism. An estimated 300 people are expected at Honoli’i for the event, including about 50 children.

Sponsors of the event are inviting families with children with autism or other disabilities to spend a day surfing and enjoying the beach. The organization will provide the boards and safety vest. The event is being put on in cooperation with the County Department of Parks & Recreation.

Kalani Kahalioumi, who has been a surf instructor at Surfers Healing events on the East and West Coasts, said the experience of surfing makes the youngsters “glow,” and they ask to go back out to surf the waves over and over.

“Something magical happens when they ride a wave,” said Kahalioumi. “Once you get them standing on the wave, standing up, they light up. Part of it is the surfer, but most of it is done by Mother Nature, the surf.”

“What is really touching is when one kid brings 30 family members to the beach. They all support this one child, and when they see their child surfing, when you bring the kid to the beach when they finish the ride, the parents are in tears,” Kahalioumi said.

For more information or to sign up for the event, visit www.surfershealing.org.

Contact Person:        Kalani Kahalioumi, 961-8860 or 808-392-2252

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