By Sheryl Aronson
A Walk On Water (AWOW), a national nonprofit organization providing surf therapy to children with special needs, had their annual fundraiser on Saturday, April 29th in Malibu, California at Malibu Wines.
The Wine for Waves fundraiser was hosted by a committee of locally-devoted influential figures including Pierce Brosnan, Brandon Boyd, Shaun & Carla Tomson, Scott Caan, Kassia Meador, Reef McIntosh, Julie Gilhart, John Paul & Eloise DeJoria, Master Jean Jacques, and Jobi Manso.
Pat Robert Notaro III, founder of A Walk On Water, told The Hollywood 360 in an interview, “ A Walk on Water was founded to commemorate my father’s life… to honor him being a surfer. We take children and adults with special needs surfing. We do surf therapy.”
When asked why surf therapy is so helpful, he replied, “The surf therapy is not only important for the children, but for the families too. It is a family event. We refer to our children and adults as athletes, because they have been labeled their whole lives. Our athletes and families get to have a day at the ocean and it is magical. It is not about only riding the waves, it’s also about touching the ocean, feeling the wind, hearing the birds. What an amazing day at the beach, and everyone experiences something that they would never think they have ever experience.”
A Walk On Water (AWOW) surf therapy events unite communities on both coasts in celebration of these exceptional children. Wine for Waves in Malibu funded the 2017 season of AWOW Surf Therapy to over 500 children and adults with special needs and their siblings. AWOW Surf Therapy events have been scheduled at California beaches in Malibu, Ventura, San Clemente, Huntington Beach, and in Montauk, New York.
The guests that evening were treated to an event set against a stunning natural backdrop in the Malibu foothills under the stars. Specialty hand-muddled cocktails featuring Patrón Tequila complemented offerings from Malibu Wines and Cismontane Brewing Co. and was paired with a selection of gourmet food trucks. A red carpet welcomed some celebrities that sponsored and supported AWOW.
The Hollywood 360 sat down with Scott Caan (Danno, “Hawaii Five-O”) and asked him about his reaction to this fabulous organization.
“I’ve been surfing my whole life and I have gotten so many benefits out of the ocean. When Pat came up with this idea, he didn’t have to pitch me at all. I told him I was in.
I’ve seen what it has done for kids, I’ve seen the changes they go through, I’ve seen the power of the ocean. It’s super close to my heart and I am so happy I get to do something that helps and teaches these very special kids.”
“It’s one thing to give money to a charity, it’s another to be able to do something not everyone can do. I’ve been surfing with kids a long time and it’s one of my favorite things in the world to do.”
“A Walk on Water is such a special group of people and such a special cause. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to see a kid kicking and screaming on the beach saying, ‘NO, NO, NO…’ and then getting them on a wave and then they want to go back out and do it again.”
Guests continued enjoying the night by bidding on items that were up for silent auction, eating the yummy food and dancing to the music stylings of DJ Big Drop.
Wine for Waves will be the culmination of an incredible week in Malibu, as AWOW kicked off their 2017 Surf Therapy season on Apr 22, 2017 at First Point, Malibu Surfrider Beach: sponsored by John Paul Mitchell Systems and hosted by The Surfrider Malibu.
Event sponsors included John Paul Mitchell Systems, Malibu Wines, Patrón Tequila, and committed individual philanthropists. For a full list of partners, host committee members, auction items and more information about Wine for Waves, as well as to purchase event tickets, visit www.awalkonwater.org/wineforwaves.