Mauli Ola Wraps Up 2011 Surf Experience...
Mauli Ola Wraps Up 2011 Surf Experience Tour on Oahu’s North Shore
On December 3, 2011, Mauli Ola Foundation headed to Hawaii’s legendary north shore at Haleiwa Beach in Oahu. This final stop on Mauli Ola Foundation’s 2011 Surf Experience Day tour is particularly special to the foundation, as well as to the families and pro-surfers affiliated with Mauli Ola. “Haleiwa on Oahu’s north shore is the beach where a lot of famous surfers began surfing as amateurs when they were kids, and where many of them transitioned into surfing professionally,” states Mauli Ola Surf Experience Director, Bobby Serna. Serna exclaimed that the MOF Haleiwa, Hawaii trip was “productive, meaningful and very sentimental” as the foundation was not just in Hawaii to surf. Mauli Ola stayed on the north shore of Hawaii for several days, making hospital visits and visiting Tripler Army base.
On December 3rd Mauli Ola Foundation hosted Ocean Activity Day for the American Cancer Society, visiting with 30 families and 150 individuals. Mauli Ola, along with some pro-surfers, took patients out for a day of fun in the sun and surf. Describing the festivities, Bobby Serna explains, “We took patients on ocean canoe rides, boogie boarding and we just hung out and made sand castles with the pediatric patients.”
On December 6th, it was off to Kapi’Olani Medical Center for Women and Children where Mauli Ola staff and pro-surfers and athletes spent quality time in the pediatric unit of the hospital. Dec. 9th was an interesting day for Mauli Ola, as they made their way to Tripler Army Medical Center for a meet and greet pizza lunch, visiting kids in the pediatric unit and in the pediatric intensive care unit. Mauli Ola Foundation staff members then gave an informational presentation to medical staff at Tripler Army Base about the natural healing benefits of surfing and saline treatment for patients with Cystic Fibrosis. Mauli Ola was then presented with Army coin medals in honor of the foundation’s accomplishments. “These army coins are rarely given out, and it was a great honor to be presented with these coin medals,” expresses Serna.
December 10th ushered in the main event: Mauli Ola Foundation’s 4th annual Haleiwa State Beach Surf Experience Day, hosted by Buttons Surf School for the 4th consecutive year.
According to Serna, “Haleiwa State beach and park provides a great venue for our surf event. It’s a legendary strip of beach and there is a great grassy area for all of the families, staff and volunteers to hang out.” In addition to a loyal following for Mauli Ola’s Haleiwa surf event (families traveled from as far away as Colorado!), the staff opted for a barbeque in lieu of restaurant catering.
“MOF Vice President, ASP surfing champion and Hawaii Five-O star, Kala Alexander, brought a big barbeque grill down to the event and we had a BBQ cookout. We’ve never actually cooked at an event before. Food brings people together and it really made it feel like a community event,” says Serna, “It created such a social atmosphere.”
Aside from location and culinary fare, MOF Haleiwa was special thanks to participation by the current women’s ASP World Champion, Carissa Moore. The youngest woman in history to ever hold the title of Women’s ASP Worldtour Champion, Moore’s enviable resume includes “6 ASP Women's World Tour events, 2 ASP WQS 6-Star events and an unprecedented 11 NSSA Titles,” according to Wikipedia. Other notable pro-surfers in attendance included: multiple Triple Crown Championship winner and 2000 ASP world champion surfer, Sunny Garcia; MOF VP Kala Alexander; UFC MMA fighter, Nissen Osterneck; Volcom team rider, Gavin Beschen; Volcom team manager, Tai Van Dyke; and Biggest Wave Surfer Poll Award recipient, Alex Gray.
“One of the many things that makes MOF Hawaii so special,” states Bobby Serna, “is that it’s a lot of the same families coming to this event for the past four years, and they really are Mauli Ola’s ‘ohana,’ a Hawaiian term that means ‘family.’ They are family in every sense of the word.”
Serna has also noticed that a higher power seems to be watching over the good works of Mauli Ola Foundation, as he regales me on the foundation’s uncanny luck with good surfing weather. “No matter how overcast the skies are, on our Mauli Ola Surf Experience days, the clouds always seem to part and the sun comes out for the two hours that we are out there surfing. It’s happened for us more times than I can count,” insists Serna. “We are blessed.”
For information about Mauli Ola Foundation’s 2012 Surf Experience Day events, visit www.mauliola.org.