MOF Newport Beach Honors Deceased Local ...
MOF Newport Beach Honors Deceased Local Surfer Gary Edgar
On Sunday, May 22, 2011 fourteen Cystic Fibrosis patients and their families congregated in Newport Beach, California at 18th street for the third stop on Mauli Ola Foundation’s 2011 Surf Experience Day tour. Professional surfers and athletes who attended the event included: UFC champion Nissen Osterneck, newly appointed MOF Community Outreach Director Kalani Robb, Shawn “Barney” Barron and two time U.S. longboard champion Josh Baxter.
Mauli Ola is particularly excited about Josh Baxter’s increased involvement with the MOF surf events, with MOF Surf Experience Director Bobby Serna adding, “Josh, who’s Summer Soul Surf Camp hosted the event, is our new Surf Experience Coordinator.” What makes this collaboration with Baxter so special for Mauli Ola Foundation is Baxter’s place within surf-lore and surfing culture. Bobby Serna further explains, “Josh Baxter owns and operates the only surf school on San Onofre State Beach, which has been a legendary surfing hangout since the 1920s; for almost one hundred years!”
On his flagship event as Surf Experience Coordinator, Baxter was a master at knowing how to properly match CF patients with the right pro-surfer. He created an environment where each child got the most benefit out of their individual surfing experience in an environment that was comfortable and educationally beneficial for them. “He is one of the top three surf instructors that Mauli Ola has ever dealt with,” states Serna.
Orange County Register staff writer, Laylan Connolly, stopped by the Newport Beach event to interview young CF patients and their families about their unique experience in living with Cystic Fibrosis and how the Mauli Ola Foundation Surf Experience Day events have helped them.
“Taylor Ross, 10 of Irvine, had a big ball of mucus stuck in her lungs and her mom, Lindsay, knew it would be coming out by the time they left the beach,” wrote Connolly in her article.
“These events are great for my kid, who has CF,” explains Taylor Ross’s mom, Lindsay. “But it also does wonders for our kids in general,” Lindsay explained to the OC Register.
Connolly goes on to write, “For Kate Watson, 12, it was all about enjoying the day. Watson, of Long Beach, was diagnosed when she was 4 months old.”
“It’s like you don’t think about it,” [Watson] said of her time in the water.”
Adding to the sentimental value of the MOF Newport Beach surfing event was an emotional “paddle-out” tribute for the late Gary Edgar, a local family man, pro-surfer and surfboard manufacturer who succumbed to lung cancer two years ago. Upon being diagnosed with lung cancer Edgar found out about the work Mauli Ola was doing for CF patients who also suffer with severe lung disease. Edgar’s family became contributors to Mauli Ola Foundation upon his passing, and each year since, Edgar’s family comes down to MOF’s Newport event for a memorial ceremony in his honor. “Gary Edgar’s wife, son and daughter came down to the event with fresh Hawaiian leis and they went around the event and handed out these beautiful fresh leis for everyone,” recalled Serna.
MOF Newport Beach was sponsored by Ambry Genetics, Flexfit, Hawaiian Spring Water, ECO Logical skincare, Etnies Shoes, Skullcandy, GoPro and Volcom.
For upcoming MOF Surf Experience Day events visit http://mauliola.org/events.html