A Walk on Water Kicks Off Surf Therapy Season

Photo: Trevor Pikhart

A Walk On Water (AWOW), a national nonprofit organization providing surf therapy to children with special needs, recently held their season kick off at historic First Point, providing a beautiful day of surf therapy to over 100 families. Malibu surfing legend Allen Sarlo was among the volunteer surf instructors and said of his experience, “Everybody had a great time. It was fantastic, well organized. There was a super positive vibration that filtered through everybody. Felt good in your heart to give back to surfing. It was really a special day.“

Being able to provide more of those days is exactly why AWOW is hosting their first annual West Coast fundraiser, “Wine for Waves,”  next Saturday, April 29th at 8 PM in Malibu, California at Malibu Wines.

“The ocean is a great healer for anyone suffering, be it physically or spiritually,” says event co-host and former surfing world champion, Shaun Tomson. That sentiment is at the heart of AWOW, and their goal is to increase the number of athletes served by at least 25% every year, including their now-annual two day event in Montauk each September. “A Walk On Water is in my backyard,” says pro surfer and AWOW instructor, Reef McIntosh. “It’s a locally-loved cause and I’m looking forward to a special evening with a bunch of special people.”

Wine for Waves will also be hosted by a committee of locally-devoted surfers including Pierce Brosnan, Brandon Boyd, Scott Caan, Kassia Meador, Reef McIntosh, Allen Sarlo, Julie Gilhart, John Paul & Eloise DeJoria, Zach Weisberg, Andrea Tese and Jobi Manson.


Wine for Waves guests will gather for a casual evening event set against a stunning natural backdrop in the Malibu foothills under the stars. Hand-muddled Patrón Tequila cocktails, offerings from Malibu Wines and Cismontane Brewing Co. will be paired with a selection of gourmet food trucks and tunes spun by DJ Big Drop.

“As parents of two special needs children, we strive to find happiness and success for our twin boys,” said Nadine & Charles Wong, parents of AWOW Athletes. “We deal with the various daily challenges that life showers us with. However, when we are at an A Walk On Water event, the world stops and we feel like it is a day to celebrate our children. At AWOW events, they greet us with open arms and our children are loved unconditionally. The world may be full of challenges and frustrations, but at AWOW events the only challenges the children face are the challenges they encounter out in the ocean catching waves alongside their surf instructors in a safe environment. Every wave is different, just like every child is different. Surfing provides so many benefits for our kids, it brings a sense of calm and happiness. It also builds their confidence and independence. Surfing benefits their body as well as their soul.”

For more information about Wine for Waves, as well as to purchase event tickets, visit www.awalkonwater.org/wineforwaves.