April 27, 2021
I plan my entire year around the 3 Special Surfers event dates, and I’ve only ever missed one event. The joy I feel is twofold because I know the families who come to the events are overflowing with it as well.
My coworker roped me into getting involved from the inception. It was kind of a no brainer to volunteer for the organization because it incorporated three of my passions: the beach, the ocean and helping children. My background includes 25 years of experience with children and young adults with developmental disabilities. I’ve watched the program grow, and seeing how far we’ve come is remarkable. When we started, the program only focused on helping kids and young adults who were able to stand up or sit up on their own. Now, we help individuals with all types of needs and we’ve rigged chairs and ramps on boards so we can surf along with people who have disabilities such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
In the first year, at the first event, I was paired with a little boy. The next month when the second event took place, I couldn’t help but smile when his mother sought me out and said, “He’s looking for you asking ‘Where’s my girl’ so I had to find you” which was really sweet. There have been so many moments like this and I look forward to connecting with the families year after year.
Nanci Grenier Boutet, Executive Director, is a force of energy you can’t say no to because her positivity is radiant and infectious. The hundreds of surfboards lined up on the beach wall, the smiling faces of volunteers and participants, the joy of the families who anticipate the success of their child, sibling or friend take on the surf… the vibe on the beach the night of the events is exhilarating and something I eagerly anticipate.
- Babette Law, Special Surfers Volunteer