Surf’s definitely up.
I headed out to Santa Monica to the Annenberg Community Beach House for an early evening event on Thursday, a refreshing change of pace from the hustle and bustle of the countless Hollywood red carpets that I’m used to.
I had an idea of what A Walk On Water was about just from quickly glancing at the invite as I rushed out the door but once I arrived and was able to soak it all in — pun intended — I was truly moved by what this organization does and they certainly stood out among the rest.
A Walk On Water provides surf therapy for special needs children and families. Surfing, of course, is therapy in general for most (from what I hear I sadly never have, gotta get on that!) but this group has the patience, love and skills to teach kids who may not have ever gotten the chance or had the courage to get in the water and try.
The Paul Mitchell-sponsored event started inside with a VIP reception with some pretty cool items up for auction like a signed surfboard from Liam Hemsworth, or a personalized Gibson guitar from Slash.
The A Walk On Water members were easy to identify thanks to their hip motorcycle vests designed with their logo on the back. Because giving back is cool!
The genuine conversation and smiles exchanged within this group was a more relaxed vibe than I am used to. They actually care. It’s not just for the night or for the event or because the cameras are on them. Some of the kids were present of course, holding hands, high-fiving, warmly hugged and attended to by their surf mentors.
I was sincerely thanked multiple times for coming and enthusiastically educated about what they do.
Outside, down by the pool overlooking the ocean, a small stage and projection screen was set up, along with tables on either side with food from Bruce’s Catering. A bar served some local 805 beer and wine from Malibu Family Wines.
Scott Caan hosted and spoke of the organization. A beautifully shot video was played showing a montage of the kids out in the water learning to surf, smiles of freedom plastered across their faces. One boy rode on his mentor’s shoulders as he navigated his surfboard along the waves. Guests cheered as each kid appeared on the screen.
It was obvious that this crew is quite a family. The interactions between the mentors and kids just melted my heart this evening, on screen and in person. And reminded me how rewarding it can be to spread joy to others, just with patience and kindness.
For more info on A Walk On Water, including ways to volunteer or donate, please check out their website at https://awalkonwater.org