Local surf event receives Christopher Reeve grant

DSCN8842A locally based surfing organization received a grant this week from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s Quality of Life Grants Program. Coastal Carolina Adaptive Sports and Recreation received the $6540 grant to be used to enhance the Wheel to Surf event that has been held annually in North Myrtle Beach.

The grant will allow the organization to build 5 new adaptive surfboards and 5 beach flags to help organize beach events.

Wheel to Surf began locally 3 years ago as a way to offer physically and mentally challenged individuals the opportunity to get into the water and surf, often for the first time in their lives.

The event was initially an annual event that has now grown to three times a year, including the North Myrtle Beach event that was held in May and drew nearly 50 participants and over a hundred volunteers. The next event scheduled is for September 12th in Garden City Beach, and then September 24th in Folly Beach, SC.

“This money will go specifically for five surfboards and five Wheel to Surf flags,” said Wheel to Surf founder Brock Johnson. “We have five teams for the event and they are all color coordinated with rash guards and now with surfboards and flags that will designate each team and everyone will now know who is who.”

Local surf organizer Luke Sharp submitted the grant application, “The teardrop flags will be the same color as each team, and the surfboards, designed by the Adaptive Surf Project, will match each flag. There will be three surfboards that are tandem, with all the bells and whistles such as ramps and handles. And, there will be two for solo riders and those will match the team color as well.”

“Most of our participants are in wheel chairs, or have some physical or mental disability that hinders them from being able to surf by themselves. So, we designed surfboards that are specially equipped for each person’s special needs,” said Johnson.

Each board will be made locally by Todd Sutz at Island Inspired Surfboard Company and the flags will be created locally by Custom Cruisers of North Myrtle Beach.

Since the inception of the Quality of Life Grants Program, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation has  awarded over 1,910 Quality of Life grants totaling nearly $15 million to nonprofit organizations worldwide that provide programs and services to individuals living with paralysis and their families.

For more information about Wheel to Surf and how you can get involved, call Brock Johnson at (843)333-0489 or email at brockwjohnson@gmail.com

Photos by GSSR’s Tyler Watkins

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