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12 Dec 2010

World Surf Champions Gather in Support o...

12 December 2010


World Surf Champions Gather in Support of MOF Haleiwa

On Saturday, December 12, 2010 Mauli Ola Foundation made the final stop on their 22 beach Surf Experience Day tour with an unforgettable event that saw a tremendous turnout!

“We called our Haleiwa event ‘World Champion Day’ since we had so many world surfing champions attend this event!” exclaims MOF Surf Experience Director Bobby Serna.  “The kids were definitely getting world champion surf instruction.” Serna explained that while the surf instruction at these events is typically pretty basic, MOF’s Surf Experience Day event at Haleiwa State Beach benefited from the surfing pros demonstrating more intricate moves. “These guys were turning on the waves and going left and right.”

Among the pro-surf champs at MOF Haleiwa were ten-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater, former world champion Sunny Garcia, former world champion Derek Ho and former world champion Mark Occhilupo. “Kelly Slater was just amazing,” states Serna, going on to explain, “It was great to have him at this event as a sort of celebration of his recent donation to Mauli Ola as part of his ‘Ten for Ten’ collaboration with Quiksilver.”

Other legendary pro-surfers who came out to show their unwavering support included Buttons Kaluhiokalani, Michael Ho, Gavin Beschen, Shawn “Barney” Barron, Kala Alexander, mixed martial artists Nissen Osterneck, and Kalani Robb. Robb gave an interview to a local news channel on behalf of Mauli Ola Foundation.

In discussing children with Cystic Fibrosis who are using surfing as a means of natural therapy, Kalani Robb told one local reporter, “Surfing actually helps to alleviate some of their symptoms. Usually, what they would be doing at a hospital, they are doing with us, surfing, rather than having to go thru [medical] treatments.”

And according to Dr. Tina Ackermann from the pediatric unit of Kapl’olani Medical Center who was also interviewed for the news segment, “When you breathe in [saline] and then you combine it with exercise, the exercise also helps you to cough more vigorously, and for these [CF] patients, coughing is actually a big part of their therapy.”

As Mauli Ola Foundation co-founder James Dunlop explains on camera at the event, “Mauli Ola actually means ‘breath of life’ in Hawaiian.” And according to Bobby Serna, “A lot of these kids have surfed with us before and they are already comfortable with the pros. A lot of these pros have taken these kids surfing before. Kala and Buttons take these kids out on their own time on the weekends, volunteering their time.” Serna goes on to explain, “Our Surf Experience Days bring awareness to Cystic Fibrosis, but we are hoping that these kids will make surfing a regular part of their lives for ongoing therapeutic benefits.”

Altogether, there were a dozen CF patients with their parents. Some of the family members got so into the festivities that they also took to the waves to surf!

Concludes Serna, “Hawaii is the ultimate surf experience and the ultimate saline treatment!”

Visit for 2011 event information.