You asked me to remind you, I’m reminding you. It’s this weekend

Tyler PassWe often see a lot of cool things here at GSSR. Victory, defeat, suspense, character building; sports has it all. But it’s those moments of sharing that really touch me personally. The Special Olympics is annually one of my favorite events to attend and volunteer for. Going in, I feel like it’s my way of giving back. Leaving the event, I always feel like I am the one who received the gift.

Another one of those opportunities is this weekend with the Wheel to Surf event in North Myrtle Beach. They are looking for volunteers, and I ask that you consider helping. Here are the details.

Wheel to Surf is an organization started locally by Myrtle Beach’s Brock Johnson. This Saturday, 50 participants will gather on the beach and have the opportunity to surf for the first time ever, or ride waves once again in a safe environment.

These participant’s circumstances will vary. Some will be wheelchair bound; some will be missing a limb, or two. Some will have a mental challenge, or any other set of options that prevent them from being able to surf in the ocean without assistance.

This is where your help is needed. Although Wheel to Surf has built an extensive network of people that are willing to volunteer their time, with so many participants, more hands and smiles are needed.

Organizers would like to have around 200 volunteers on Saturday. That would allow everyone to have the opportunity to surf, and do so safely. Some volunteers will be placed along the sand, some will be in ankle deep water, others in waist deep water, and some will be riding with the participants. There has to be someone there to help in case a surfer falls off a board and rolls into the water. These folks can’t swim in some cases, so volunteers are needed to line the riding path.
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If getting in the water isn’t your thing, perhaps you can help cheer from the beach, or greet the participants, or serve lunch, or hold a clipboard. There is a position for you, and you are needed.

Now, what will you get out of this? After visiting these programs several times over the last few years, I can personally tell you that you’ll get the experience of a lifetime. You’ll be directly impacting the lives of those that could use your help. You’ll see anxious and worried people ride a wave for maybe the first time in their lives and begin to feel freedom as they slide down a wave and to the sand. You’ll see a smile that is as wide as you’ve ever seen. You’ll see these participants shaking with a joy and happiness that they have forgotten. And, most importantly, you’ll see these participants forget about their injuries or their personal struggles and live free for just a little while.  But, to feel that safety and that freedom, they need you there to make sure they are safe in a wave filled ocean.

Will you help? Can you help? Please do. Brock

The event is this Saturday from 9am till 4pm or so, on the beach at 21st Ave South in North Myrtle Beach. If you can help for any amount of time, please contact Melinda Chappell and let her know that you are available. She’ll provide you with all of the details. Her email address is mechappell@nmb.us

Thank you, and I’ll see you there.

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