Wowed by AWOW!
For busybodies and over achievers nearing the end of summer often means regretting opportunities missed rather than recounting blissful recent memories. Either way, it always comes too fast. This summer, for me, it’s involving a look back at Low Tide and what it’s managed to achieve in its inaugural season. Of course people visit the Montauk Beach House and Montauk in general to get away from it all and to find solace in the subtle simplicities of summer: sun, sand, sweat, etc. Thus we’ve been more than happy to deliver on the #beachhousevibes we promised. We’ve talked about food, wine, beer, even candy. Shown you videos and shared art and playlists. Recommended beach worthy wares and helped whip your bodies into shape worthy enough to wear them. Ever my own worst critic though, I naturally wish we had devoted more time and screen space to the Make Waves section, dedicated to charitable and philanthropic activities.
Just as I was scratching my head about how we can make the most of the summer days we have left and use our tiny little piece of the internet to spread knowledge about organizations doing good, I received an email from Laura Rubin, who we featured earlier in the season and who has nudged some of Low Tide’s best content along. This time about A WALK ON WATER. Thankfully not Jesus related, the West Coast based organization provides water therapy through guided surf instruction to specials needs children.
As you can see from the video above, surfing is used as a tool to gain self confidence skills and promote the therapeutic benefits of the sport’s positive effects. Children experience the true “stoke” of surfing and a sense of accomplishment as family and friends cheer them on from the beach. There are also some attractive and charming men involved.
We’ve Q’d and A’d for what feels like an eternity and though it’s often an efficient and entertaining way to tell a brand or organization’s story, I really couldn’t be brought to do yet another post in this vein. While perusing their website and thinking about how best to share AWOW’s magic I came across some of the parents’ testimonials which combined with the video made me quite emotional to be honest. I thought what better way to express the real tangible impact of these efforts than directly from the mouths (fingertips) of those benefiting from them. So here we are. Please have a gander, watch the video and get involved. Not in LA? Can’t surf? You can still donate and shop AWOW merch (frankly, some of the coolest soft goods and swag I have yet to see from a charitable organization).
Better yet: the Montauk Beach House is proud to present AWOW’s first ever East Coast event, coming up on the weekend of September 26th. Long Island Communities of Practice has been working to source and coordinate families who will be provided with complimentary accommodations at the MBH. Nearby favorites Happy Bowls and Ditch Witch will be serving up breakfast and lunch for the families. And, we’re collaborating with Whalebone Magazine to co-host a fundraising event in support of AWOW’s ongoing efforts. Special shout out to local heroes Pat Fallon and (our very own) Walt Lindveld!
“The beach is most ideal as it is a full buffet of sensory experience. Sound, wind, sand, water, movement.. it’s all there. One of the bests days in recent memory was when me and my two boys participated in A Walk On Water’s free one day, surf camp for special needs kids. Unlike most special needs camps, they allowed my neuro-typical son, Avery to participate as well. Avery always claims to dislike the beach but not this day.. this day was a surf day. Surfers are definitely on a higher plane than the rest of us.. they experience being a part of something that is so much bigger than ourselves. The ocean has a way of humbling you, frightening you and making you love it all at once. Both kids were hooked instantly and couldn’t get enough. This day was one of those times that can only be described as ‘magic’… pure magic!”
— April Oak Park, CA.
“Thanks so much to everyone involved with A Walk On Water. We had an amazing day! It was so inspirational to see Brody out on the water. He was absolutely over the moon all day & like a different little boy when we got home. It really meant a lot that not only was Brody invited to go surfing, but his brother was also invited. We had the best day as a family that I can remember!”
— Jennifer Newbury Park, CA.
“I just wanted to thank you again for another wonderful surfing adventure at Hollister Ranch with AWOW. You and the other owners at Hollister Ranch are so generous to welcome the families of kids who have special needs to enjoy a fantastic day of beach fun at your beautiful private Bulito Beach! Everything was perfect. The kids and their families had a great adventure, and we felt very pampered. The AWOW family does a wonderful job of putting on this event. We have been so fortunate to be able to come three times! And our son, Kevin, has done better each time. This time, after a long time of Pat helping him, Kevin was able to pop up onto hands and knees, the best he has ever done. And the huge smiles on his and Pat’s faces, brought tears to my eyes! After that, Pat just had to push him off, and have another surfer catch him as he was able to ride in by himself (on his tummy, but all smiles!) Paul, Kevin, and I were absolutely impressed once again with the professionalism and caring that the AWOW group showed us. All the surf instructors, and all of the volunteers, did their very best to ensure a wonderful and safe time was had by all. Please pass along our heartfelt thanks to all the other owners at Hollister Ranch, for allowing this awesome event at their magical beach!”
— Terri Santa Barbara, CA.
Written By Katerina Simonova.