A Walk on Water

A WALK ON WATER is a family of watermen sharing the therapeutic powers of the ocean with those in need. AWOW’s primary goal is providing relief to families of children with special needs through surf therapy.We are a humanitarian and environmentally conscious organization with an eye on sustainability.

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1ST A WALK ON WATER EVENT – SANTA BARBARA – OCTOBER 6, 2012

Photos by Pat R. Notaro III

 A WALK ON WATER provides water therapy through guided surf instruction to specials needs children.  Surfing is used as a tool to gain self confidence skills and promote the therapeutic benefits of the sport’s positive effects.  Children experience the true “stoke” of surfing and a sense of accomplishment as family and friends cheer them on from the beach.  Brothers and sisters also participate, helping to solidify an often strained bond between siblings.  Our surf events focus on both the athletes and their families, who are treated to a well-deserved day of relaxation, healthy food and lifestyle guidance.

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A WALK ON WATER 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.

Athletes who experience additional rounds of surf therapy will often see additional therapeutic benefits, so we recommend you encourage your athletes to experience multiple surf events.  Many families have remarked that their special needs child shows marked improvement in many areas, especially behavioral, after attending a surf therapy event.

As we scale A Walk On Water, we plan to establish multiple regional chapters in other locales, enabling surf therapy to be offered year-round.

If you are interested sponsoring A Walk On Water event in your community please contact us atinfo@awalkonwater.com.

 

WHY

“I just wanted to thank you again for another wonderful surfing adventure at Hollister Ranch with AWOW. You and the other owners at Hollister Ranch are so generous to welcome the families of kids who have special needs to enjoy a fantastic day of beach fun at your beautiful private Bulito Beach! Everything was perfect. The kids and their families had a great adventure, and we felt very pampered. The AWOW family does a wonderful job of putting on this event. We have been so fortunate to be able to come three times! And our son, Kevin, has done better each time. This time, after a long time of Pat helping him, Kevin was able to pop up onto hands and knees, the best he has ever done. And the huge smiles on his and Pat’s faces, brought tears to my eyes! After that, Pat just had to push him off, and have another surfer catch him as he was able to ride in by himself (on his tummy, but all smiles!) Paul, Kevin, and I were absolutely impressed once again with the professionalism and caring that the AWOW group showed us. All the surf instructors, and all of the volunteers, did their very best to ensure a wonderful and safe time was had by all. Please pass along our hearfelt thanks to all the other owners at Hollister Ranch, for allowing this awesome event at their magical beach!”

— Terri Santa Barbara, CA.

Common bonds, love for ocean, surfing and a desire to help those in need brought the AWOW family 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, the event paid homage to Pat Notaro Jr., father of AWOW founder Pat Notaro III.  Pat Jr. was a well respected Malibu surfer, member of Variety The Children’s Charity and Sony Films executive.  Our founder poured his heart into every event, eventually realizing the need to create his own vision of what a nonprofit should look like.  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 and so A Walk On Water was born.  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.

Over 200 special needs children and families experience the thrill of surfing and its therapeutic qualities each year through A Walk On Water.  The home base for A Walk On Water, and where a majority of events are held, is Bulito Beach, at “The Ranch” in Santa Barbara, CA.  Hollister Ranch is one of the singular aspects that makes AWOW unique.  We are incredibly grateful to be able to hold events at this sacred ground, thanks to the kindness of its philanthropically inclined property owners.

“Thanks so much to everyone involved with A Walk On Water. We had an amazing day! It was so inspirational to see Brody out on the water. He was absolutely over the moon all day & like a different little boy when we got home. It really meant a lot that not only was Brody invited to go surfing, but his brother was also invited. We had the best day as a family that I can remember!”

— Jennifer Newbury Park, CA.

AWOW exists largely because of our amazing volunteers and the financial support of our 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 as well. Without a clean and safe habitat, athletes and their families will lose the ability to experience surfing and the stoke it provides.

“The beach is most ideal as it is a full buffet of sensory experience. Sound, wind, sand, water, movement.. it’s all there. One of the bests days in recent memory was when me and my two boys participated in A Walk On Water’s free one day, surf camp for special needs kids. Unlike most special needs camps, they allowed my neuro-typical son, Avery to participate as well. Avery always claims to dislike the beach but not this day.. this day was a surf day. Surfer’s are definitely on a higher plane than the rest of us.. they experience being a part of something that is so much bigger than ourselves. The ocean has a way of humbling you, frightening you and making you love it all at once. Both kids were hooked instantly and couldn’t get enough. This day was one of those times that can only be described as ‘magic’… pure magic!”

— April Oak Park, CA.

WHO SAID SURFING AT A WALK ON WATER EVENTS IS JUST FOR KIDS?

Dear A Walk On Water,

We are so full of gratitude to you and everyone at A Walk On Water. Thank you for the experience that is truly healing for my family.  It’s our first time to attend an AWOW event and we did not know what to expect from AWOW but every volunteer welcomed us and made our day a unique experience that we will cherish. From the moment our van pulled into the parking lot, the volunteers assisted us and catered to our every question. It was such a pleasure to meet Pat, Sean, and the many surf instructors who took my twins Christian and Christopher out for some surf therapy. Smiles are plastered on my face (and my family) as we watch our boys catch some waves. Somehow, I too (the mama bear of my twin cubs) managed to experience catching a few waves with Adam Knox. To be able to experience what my twins are experiencing, is enlightening. I agree that there is healing power in  surfing. Surfing is an activity that encourages people to clear their mind and learn how to experience nature. It embraces personal qualities that are important to everyday life, including patience, perseverance, strength, insight and most of all confidence and fun. I owe that enlightenment to AWOW. Many thanks for all that you do. 

Warmly,

Nadine, Charles, Christian & Christopher

p.s. 

No words cannot express how grateful we are for smiles and the experience they gave my twins. A therapeutic experience that beats all the therapies they do 7 days a week. Many thanks to Adam Knox for giving me that chemical cocktail of a surf stoke.  We look forward to many more waves to catch in the future!

ATHLETE SIGNUPS ARE AVAILABLE FOR SANTA BARBARA, CA.

DATE:  SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12th, 2015

THIS EVENT VERY IS LIMITED TO SIGN UPS AND THOSE WHO NEVER EXPERIENCED THIS LOCATION WILL TAKE PRIORITY.  IT’S THE A WALK ON WATER BIRTH PLACE AND WE ARE VERY THANKFUL TO THOSE WHO WELCOME US BACK.

A Walk on Water.

 

GRANDI SURFISTI, GRANDI UOMINI, GRANDI CUORI…COMPLIMENTI E UN GRAZIE IMMENSO PER QUELLO CHE FATE!

 

 

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