Pro surfers organized a surf session to help the children of Lahaina heal from the destructive Maui wildfires with some Saturday morning fun.
The group met at Ho’okipa Beach and big wave surfer Paige Alms explained the idea.
She said, “Getting in the water is such a healing place for me and I know it is for everyone else.”
“What we thought we would do is just put some smiles on some faces and have a good time,” she added.
Dozens of families attended with children. A nonprofit organization called Boards 4 Buddies provided new surfboards for the children whose surfboards burned in the recent wildfires.
Fourth-grade teacher and founder of Boards 4 Buddies, Brit Oliphant, stated, “We’re here to let kids borrow boards, but they’re also welcome to take them home.”
My friend Brit who is an el school teacher in Kula Maui is getting surfboards & skateboards to Lāhainā fire survivors. Pls consider donating boards or dough 💸💰My former high school students & now pro surfers Matt Meola & Ian Gentil donated boards https://t.co/WYpqcL5G9V pic.twitter.com/gEILiqNNO0
— Judi Riley 🧜♀️🐴🇺🇸 (@TikiTales) August 23, 2023
She also discussed the fires with her students. She said, “Every kid I’ve talked to, I say, what do you miss the most?”
“And they miss their boards. On Maui, surfing and skateboarding is so rooted in our culture and it’s kids’ outlet for fun.”
Snacks, towels, and slippers were also donated. This allowed families to enjoy a normal day at the beach despite their losses.
One of the attendees was, Thayane Colpas, a teenager who lost everything in the wildfire.
Colpas was not home when the fires struck, but she said, “I’m just thankful we’re alive.”
Before the fire, she regularly surfed and noted the event was a welcome relief.
“It’s a good distraction to get away from what’s been happening,” she noted.
Then she added, “It’s super cool, having everyone get together.”
The group included pro surfers Kai Lenny, Imaikalani Devault, Cody Young, Jackson Bunch, Summer Macedo and Annie Reickert.
Lenny gathered everyone together before they hit the water. He offered his thanks and had everyone hold hands and observe a moment of silence for those harmed by the wildfires.
Then he asked, “Alright, who’s ready to surf?” and the kids cheered before paddling out.
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