Mauli Ola Foundation Spends Memorial Day Weekend...
Mauli Ola Foundation Spends Memorial Day Weekend at Waikiki Beach & Oahu
Mauli Ola Foundation’s dedicated staff and volunteers spent Memorial Day Weekend in Hawaii, at Waikiki Beach and on Oahu’s north shore. The entire holiday weekend was dedicated to Cystic Fibrosis awareness and fundraising.
On Friday, May 25th, the crew from Mauli Ola attended a Cystic Fibrosis educational day hosted by Tripler Army Medical Center. Speakers provided information about the latest research discoveries for CF, keeping families living with the genetic disease up to date on the most cutting edge drugs and treatments available for their loved ones. Rather than one-sided lectures, the event was interactive, allowing CF families more interactive access. “Parents were able to ask questions and voice their concerns,” explains Mauli Ola Surf Experience Director, Bobby Serna.
Two special guests who attended CF Educational Day included Anabel and Isabel Stenzel, twin sisters both living with CF who are now notable documentarians and genetic counselors, themselves. The Stenzel twins’ acclaimed documentary film, The Power of Two takes audiences on a journey of two sisters who are living powerfully with CF. “They’re just rad girls,” states Bobby Serna, adding that the two sisters were also in attendance at Sunday’s (May 27th) Surf Experience Day event on Waikiki Beach.
The CF Great Strides Walk took place on Saturday, May 26th with Mauli Ola staff and CF families walking side by side to show solidarity and support for CF awareness.
On Sunday, May 27th, seventeen families convened on Waikiki beach for a day of surfing alongside six professional surfers. Shawn “Barney” Barron, Kala Alexander, Jason Magallanes, Rico Jimenez, Gavin Beschen and David Kawena were on hand to offer surfing instruction to all in attendance. Aside from the usual pro-surfer fanfare, families were treated to ocean canoe rides by Zane Aikau, one of the best kayak guys on the island. “He took the families canoe surfing and that was a super treat,” said Serna.
Describing the loyal yet intimate following of MOF Waikiki each year, Serna states, “In Hawaii there are only so many patients, but we’ve seen the same families for the last four years. Hawaii is a special trip for us because we’ve built a strong bond with the local families and because… well, it’s Hawaii!” Serna adds with a laugh.
Many of the families who attend Mauli Ola’s Surf Experience Day at Waikiki are military families, and some of the patients are from Tripler Army Medical Center. According to Bobby Serna, Lt. Col. Dr. Jane Gross runs the pediatric ward at Tripler Army Medical Center and is instrumental in getting the word out and referring her patients to participate in the MOF Surf Experience Day each year.
“We’ve received army medals from Tripler alongside Sunny Garcia and Kala Alexander,” shares Serna. “The army bestows coins on people for exceptional service and performance, and they gave us ours for ‘Excellence in Child care’.” Pediatric patients from Queens Medical Center were also at the Waikiki surfing event.
A beautiful three day weekend was capped off by a Sunday night fundraiser on Oahu’s north shore. Mauli Ola Vice president Kala Alexander hosted a Mauli Ola Cystic Fibrosis fundraiser and, according to Bobby Serna, it was “one of the best surfing-related concerts I’ve ever seen!” The Mauli Ola CF fundraising concert took place at Oahu’s Turtle Bay resort at the Surfer Bar.
For information on upcoming Mauli Ola Foundation Surf Experience Days and other events, visit www.mauliola.org.