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A WALK ON WATER is a family made up of men, women and youths who desire to share the therapeutic powers of the ocean with others. Our primary goal is to provide relief to special needs children and their families.

AWOW provides water therapy through guided surf instruction or “surf therapy”. Surfing's physical and repetitive nature produces a therapeutic effect and helps build self confidence. Children experience the true stoke of surfing and a renewed sense of accomplishment as family and friends cheer them on from the beach. Often shadowed by their special needs brother or sister siblings are also encouraged to participate. Our surf events focus on both the athletes and their families, who are treated to a well-deserved day of relaxation and pampering.

Surf events are currently held only in California and run concurrent to warm weather and favorable surf conditions, which is generally early spring to late fall. Private surf therapy sessions are available year-round for families willing to brave colder water and less predictable surf. As an athlete is treated to additional rounds of surf therapy, one will generally see an increase in efficacy. This can often spell the difference between good and bad days for a family. As we scale AWOW, we plan to establish multiple regional chapters in tropical locales, enabling surf therapy to be offered year-round.

Surf therapy event dates have yet to be determined for the 2014 calendar year. We plan to host a minimum of four events, including:

Hollister Ranch - June Season Opener Event
Hollister Ranch - August Ventura County
Bolsa Chica - September Orange County Event
Hollister Ranch - October Season Roundup

A common bond, desire to help those in need, shared love of the ocean and surfing brought the AWOW team together. The inspiration for A Walk On Water was sparked in 2000 at the 1st annual “Surfers Healing Pat Notaro Day” at Malibu’s Surfrider Beach in Los Angeles, CA. Hosted by Variety The Children’s Charity this event pays homage to Pat Notaro Jr., father of AWOW’s founder. Pat Jr. was a well respected, Malibu surfer, member of Variety The Children’s Charity and Sony Films Executive. Every year, over 100 special needs children experience the thrill of surfing and its therapeutic qualities.

When the opportunity arose to create a new surf event experience based out of Hollister Ranch, CA – one that was open to entire families and children of all disabilities – A Walk On Water was born. AWOW was established at Hollister Ranch thanks to the kindness of its philanthropically inclined property owners.

AWOW exists solely because of our amazing volunteers and the support of generous donors. These volunteers share a respect for their fellow man, the ocean and environment, and most importantly: people in need. Our events are meant to raise awareness not only to humanitarian needs, but environmental ones as well. Without a clean and safe environment, surfing cannot continue to be experienced by the athletes and their families. The “A Walk On Water” name is derived from a movie script Pat's grandfather was going to produce before he passed away in 1970.

A Walk On Water events are, and will always be, free to families and all who attend. However, these moments we create do indeed have costs. The unique benefit of joining the AWOW family is that you can personally witness the effects of your donation, whether it be time, money or both. We welcome any and all to join us in our mission to better the lives of those around us.

You can help make a difference in the lives of a special needs child and their family by visiting WALK ON WATER to donate. You may also sign up to become a part of the AWOW family by visiting WALK ON WATER and sign-up as a volunteer.


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