A Steveston mom was swept away by tears of joy at her sons’ surfing in Tofino, at the 7th annual Surf’s Up for Autism. Thank you to The Richmond News for the front page coverage, we really appreciate the press!
“Erica Macklin stood on Cox Bay in Tofino and cried. But it wasn’t tears of sadness or sorrow that were running down the Steveston mom’s face; the raw emotion was that of pure, unbridled joy. It was the sight of Macklin’s two sons – Lexx, 15, and Charlie, 7 – being at one with the surf and being released, even temporarily, from the daily pain that is living with autism." Read the full article.
Day 2 of Surf’s Up for Autism by #supasociety is underway here in Tofino, and even with a weather forecast of precipitation in the area of 25-35mm and 50km winds, nothing can stop the amazing momentum of this event and everyone here!
A big thank you once again to by Rip Curl Canada and the amazing Long Beach Lodge. We managed to have a great awards ceremony yesterday and wrapped the day up with a family reception on the patio looking out at Long Beach hosted by Canucks Autism Network. We can’t wait for next year!
Saturday September 8, 2018 and this year’s Surf’s Up for Autism #supasociety sponsored by Rip Curl Canada is in full swing!!
Despite the overcast skies, the rain has stopped, the temperature is pretty good and today's 3 heats are underway at the amazing Long Beach Lodge. The Environment Canada conditions for the rest of today, heavy loads of fun, scattered laughter, gnarly waves and an amazing time!!!
It’s a surf weekend in Tofino where people can leave behind their daily grind, and try to forget about the costs and stresses of Autism that burden their families. This event empowers the parents and includes the siblings, that often feel left behind. Clearly, the Strobel’s felt the excitement and wanted to express their thanks for this event.
“Apologies for not writing sooner, but I just wanted to write a quick email to say thank you so much for including our family in the SUPA Surf's Up event in September! Our boys, Oliver and Lyndon both had a most spectacular, memorable weekend. I was so impressed with the supportive, inclusive, fun culture you've created that permeated every volunteer and sponsor we met. Clearly, Dennis, your vision and enthusiasm are contagious!”
“Because of this atmosphere, both our boys weren't scared at all and felt completely confident being taken out into the waves by their instructors and BI's. Neither of them was the least bit hesitant or uncertain and I was floored! I looked at those waves and felt a bit intimidated myself! But, because of how much fun the boys had and after watching your amazing volunteers, we decided to rent surf boards for ourselves and give it a go. It was much harder than the kids all made it look, but we had SO much fun. I was just vibrating with excitement all day, and glowing with pride in myself and my kids for getting out there. You've spawned an enthusiastic little surf family and we can't wait to get back out to Tofino to try it again!”
“I hope you'll pass on our gratitude to everyone who worked on the Surf camp, and I hope to be able to join you again. It was a really, really memorable weekend. Thank you for all you do!” - Sonia and Shaun Strobel, mom and dad to Lyndon and Oliver.
It’s a FREE two-day surf camp for children and families living with Autism. It is a day of surfing, beach games and family fun in an enriching and inclusive environment. Angela McCartney and her family attended and wanted to offer their thanks for being included in this great event.
“I wanted to take some time to send a message of huge appreciation for your participation in SUPA! “
“We want to sincerely thank you for the support you have provided for SUPA! This was our family’s first time attending, and we had the time of our lives. We have 3 boys-two of them on the autism spectrum, and one has a life threatening, fatal disease. Family life can be stressful and overwhelming. To see ALL 3 of our boys smiling the entire weekend literally brought tears to my eyes. This opportunity has been such an amazing experience. Our entire family had such an amazing time, and we were able to relax and enjoy every minute of it!”
“We are truly grateful for our experience, and truly want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the support you’ve given to SUPA! Without the support, SUPA wouldn’t be able to provide all these families with such an incredible experience. THANK YOU!!”
Surf’s Up For Autism was established back in 2012, and today our special and incredibly rewarding results are proof, that this truly has become a remarkable event for families to take time out of their hectic lives dealing with Autism. The Merrit family is one of these families, and Malina, Charles, Bradley & Jillian Merritt wanted to express their thanks for this SUPA Society event.
“I want to say thank you to each and every person and venue that made Surfs Up possible for my family and all the families. I will never be able to express in words just how much Surfs Up weekend meant to me and my children.”
“I am a single mother of three children all diagnosed with autism. They are all very different and have different quirks. It is very rare to find something that all three of my children love and with the level of support we received. All three of my children surfed on Saturday and we did not go back to the beach on Sunday because 2 of my 3 children would not have been happy that they couldn't surf again. My eldest loved surfing too but he said "hockey, golf then surfing". Saturday was such a perfect day that we left Sunday on such a high and the two of my children that can communicate verbally asked when do we get to come back? "
"The highlight for me though was at home and looking through the video and pictures I'd taken. I got a really good video of my daughter wiping out on the surf board. My daughter, who is considered non-verbal and usually only echoes but very rarely has independent speech, was watching the videos with me and hit play on the wipe out video. As the video was playing and the wave was coming up she said "speed up, speed up, speed up", then as she was riding the wave she said "Wheeeeeeeeee", then as she wiped out she said "oops". She then replayed the video at least 10 more times. It is impossible for her to express verbally just how much she loved surfing but what she said watching the video was a small miracle. She spent the entire hour in the water, she wiped out at least 3 times and got back on happily, and even though her teeth were chattering and she usually doesn't like being cold I know she would have kept going had her time not run out.”
“Tofino and Surfs Up will forever hold a special place in our memories and hearts and I wish I could say thank you to each of you face to face and shake your hands. Please know you have my eternal gratitude for making the Surfs Up weekend possible.”
Awesome story this week, as a simple wish posted on YouTube last month become a reality for a Toronto woman. The effort to help Carly Troup realize her dream began when she sang the Canadian national anthem at an Autism Speaks event at Nathan Phillips Square last month. A spokeswoman from the organization asked everyone in the square to share Carly's wish on social media using the hashtag #letcarlysing. Last night on April 17th, Carly sang the Canadian national anthem at the Toronto @BlueJays home game! The Jays were thrilled to be joined by @autismspeaksCAN during Autism awareness month. The story truly gives hope to parents living with autism. Said Carly's Dad Peter; "When your child is diagnosed, it's devastating," he said. "You think, 'What's the hope for them down the road?' We struggled with that for many, many years." But, he added, "these kids all have their own talents and you have to find that and really work on that. When she was younger, the smallest things would upset her and she would cry and scream but music just seemed to calm her down." Way to go Carly and congratulations from SUPA Society!! @Autism_SurfsUp
Killa B wanted to create opportunities where brands can give back a portion of their proceeds to the autism community and help non-profit programs like SUPA Society at events like ASD SK8 Day so they can continue to thrive. Skateboarders with autism, like Killa B, can be sponsored and become brand ambassadors, letting companies expand their reach into a massive untapped market in the Canadian skate industry, and beyond. Killa wants to create a buzz in communities looking to connect with and support the autism community, or other special needs, and wants to be an inspiring role model for their children. One in 68 children are born with autism, five times more likely in boys. Yet if you meet one child with autism like Killa B, he may seem different but he is not, “I AM simply ME” says Killa B. Let’s start talking about how brands, the skateboard world and SUPA Society can partner together.
Killa B was introduced to skateboarding when he saw the documentary on Danny Way jumping the Great Wall of China. Right there and then he knew he wanted to skate. His first board was a Danny Way complete board bought online. Something magical happened that day between a boy and his skateboard: they spoke to each other as if they were one in a world where autism did not exist. They danced on concrete as they became one, and suddenly a kid who never quite fit in blossomed. This is where Killa’s vision was born for the “I AM ME” campaign for autism. Putting real stories and real faces to brands and companies that want to be change-makers, creating social difference in our world and impacting the lives of youth who need it most. Killa B’s goal is to bring autism awareness, social acceptance, and inclusiveness to a global level.
What is a Killa B? Good question, and we’ll keep you informed and involved in a series of ongoing blog posts. Killa B is an amazing 12 year old simply known as “B”, or Killa B when on his skateboard, snowboard or surfboard. Killa B has become an advocate, and is always making positive moves to help bring more awareness and acceptance to Autism. Through events at SUPA Society like ASD Sk8 Day and Autism Surf’s Up Event, and at the Pacific Autism Family Centre in Richmond, BC, Killa B wanted to help raise some funds. So, Protest Movement and Supa Society have created the Killa B “I Am Me” Snapback Hat and $5 from every hat sold will be donated directly to the Pacific Autism Family Network. He teamed up with Hippie Mike (Protest-Movement) Legendary skater Kevin Harris, Andy Anderson and Graphic Designer Jay Mykyte to bring the Killa B "I Am Me" skateboard. Check back again soon for part 2 in the Killa B “I Am Me” series.