In the past several years, we have seen a massive increase in support of many disabilities through events such as Making Strides, the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, charity walks and now the well-known fundraising event called Surfers For Autism (SFA).
Surfers For Autism is a non-profit organization with a goal of providing a fun and interactive family event. Children with ASD and families alike enjoy great music, games, bounce houses, surfing, catered lunch and many other fun-filled activities.
What started with a simple idea came to be known as a life changing experience for many children with Autism. Since its inaugural event in 2007 at the Deerfield Beach Pier, SFA has hosted many events through Florida’s East Coast and the events have attracted as many as 200 surfers and raised close to $20,000.
On April 10th, 2015, SFA held its 8th Annual South Florida Beach Festival, a free three day festival at the Deerfield Beach Pier. Activities included a concert, games and prizes, music, food and surfing. The best part of the event was volunteering, as volunteers got a chance to work closely with the children as they surfed the waves and enjoyed the sunny day.
There were many volunteers from different locations including the Broward’s Sheriff Office (BSO), Lynn University and Palm Beach State College ROTORACT and Phi Theta Kappa from the Boca Raton Campus. BSO Assistant Chief of Staff Mr. Wallace Eccleston Jr, stated, “Every year the BSO team volunteers from the early morning until the evening to ensure the success of the event and have as much fun as possible with the children while surfing”.
SFA continues to support and help fund autism research, awareness and advocacy as well as transforming individuals, families and communities. Palm Beach State College is fortunate to have a professor in the Boca Campus who is a member of SFA, Prof. Dave Rossman. Rossman is currently the Communications Director for Surfers for Autism and is able to provide students with the opportunity to experience the events as volunteers.
Rossman stated, “I feel that Surfers for Autism, or an entity dedicated to improving the lives of others, serves a vital purpose. There are so many in need, and if you have the ability to give of your time, it is incumbent upon you to do so.” Rossman went on to state, “The Deerfield Beach Festival was one of our best; there was a perfect little wave for the surfers, and each participant got four to five sessions in the water.”
Surfers for Autism will host several events throughout the rest of the year. If you would like to know how to volunteer, donate or learn more about the organization feel free to visit their website at http://surfersforautism.org/.