Professional surfers and surf instructors with the Mauli Ola Foundation will take to the waves at Wrightsville Beach Sunday, Aug. 10, to provide surf therapy to children living with cystic fibrosis. The second annual Ben Bourgeois Surf Experience Day will build off of the success of the 2013 event when children from around the East Coast received surf instruction from pros like Bourgeois and Sunny Garcia.
“Last year was great. … I am sure we will have more this year because everyone had such a great time,” Bourgeois said. “We will just spend the day down on the beach getting them to ride waves and at the same time it is good for them to be in the water as a natural treatment because it helps clear their lungs.”
Cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease, primarily affects the lungs. The salinity levels present in the salty air and in ocean water around the beach is conducive to reducing congestion in the airways of those afflicted with the disease.
Although he believes surfing helps people suffering from a variety of diseases and handicaps, IndoJax Surf Charity founder Jack Viorel said it is easy to get behind a charity surf event that is proven to help.
“It is all about letting them breathe in the salty air to get salt water in their system and decongest them,” Viorel said. “Even though we all know these types of surf events are therapeutic, this is probably one of the only ones that is scientifically proven to make a difference.”
IndoJax will provide the surfing gear for the day and a few of their instructors will join the pros in the water that are a part of the Mauli Ola Foundation like Hawaiians Sunny Garcia and Kala Alexander.
In addition to the surf day, the Mauli Ola Foundation will host a silent auction fundraiser Saturday, Aug. 9, from 6-9 p.m. at King Neptune Restaurant. The 2013 fundraiser raised more than $10,000 for the foundation, which uses the funds to support its various programs providing therapy to those with genetic disorders.
While he hopes the fundraiser can raise more funds than last year’s, Bourgeois said he is most excited about sharing some stoke in the water.
“My favorite part about it is we just get to spend time with kids in the water and surf,” he said. “It is not just a fundraiser, which is great to raise money for the cause, but we actually get to be in the water helping these kids right there.”
To register your child for the Mauli Ola Foundation’s Ben Bourgeois Surf Experience Day, visit
Want to go?
Mauli Ola Foundation silent auction
benefit for cystic fibrosis,
Saturday, Aug. 9, 6-9 p.m.,
King Neptune Restaurant
11 North Lumina Ave.