"Fall"-ing into place.
We have had an incredible year, thanks to our generous donors, volunteers and wonderful participants.
We are working on our merchandise web page, so please bear with us. Until then, if you want Hang Loose Moose gear, email us- firstname.lastname@example.org
We would love photos of you in your Special Surfer tees, hats, sweatshirts or show us your cool sticker placement!
Please remember us for your Giving Tuesday holiday or end of year donation plans. Stay tuned for more. And THANKS!
Summer of Love
What a season! After a missed season (2020 was a lost year in many ways), we saw a lot of pent-up demand for people to get out and splash around! What fun we had.
June is usually our smallest event. The water is chilly, people are still gearing up for summer and many people have not arrived or started their vacations. July is often a busy night with more folks joining us with warmer water and more of a summer feel in the air. By August, the water is warmed up and everyone is raring to go. AND we’re all feeling like… Where did summer go? Part of living in Maine is that you have to grab summer while it’s here, it’s so short and sweet!
June was “interesting”. While Marc (my husband) and I were driving the large trailer to the beach to prep and set up for the event, I got a call from Tasha, our Executive Assistant. I was informed that our event insurance was not in effect. YIKES! Since we were unable to secure insurance, we cancelled the event. In my email to everyone, I asked if people could come one week later. The HUGE-IMMENSE-MASSIVE amount of support and love was incredible. Thank you everyone for understanding! People were ready to bust out of this crazy bubble we’ve all been living in, and we all breathed a sigh of relief and shouted whoops of joy. We had a great “make-up event” and the vibe was full of love and joy. We welcomed a few new volunteers and participants in June and the connections were warm and deep. One mom sent a letter of thanks that we forwarded to a volunteer team who was just as thankful for the opportunity to share this great experience. We’ll be seeing you again!
July’s event was hosted by TMCF, the Tommy McNamara Charitable Foundation. Everyone got great, gorgeous free tee shirts and Special Surfers got a great and much needed donation! Thanks TMCF!. It rained like crazy but we didn’t miss a beat. The surf was delightful and gentle. We saw so many of our event veterans and welcomed so many new faces.
August… August was a total blast. We had so many people, and our systems were firing. We seemed to flow so well and every kid (and young at heart adult) had a great session. We had a couple of mobility challenged adults who came to feel the joy and freedom of the surf who had to wait for our one bubble wheelchair to free up. We’re working on getting a few more, if you know anyone who has one they no longer use. We also had a few SUPER Special Moments. We had a young surfer decide that we were a “boardshorts optional” event and dropped his boardshorts and most of us had a short burst of laughter. It was a quick “flash”, but we handled the “Special” moment with humor and our version of decorum. We had to remind our Special Mom that this is why we’re here. Relax, breathe, enjoy a night without lowbrows. It’s our night, own it. (It was really a hoot!)
August was our biggest event yet. A few of us were a little edgy about the numbers (mostly me, I guess ;)! There’s a lot that goes into these events. A lot of moving parts that might not occur to people who don’t plan it. We need to have at least 2 “wet” volunteers for each “Green Zone” (Special Surfer with high functioning mobility), at least 3 volunteers for “Yellow Zone” (Special Surfer with high functioning mobility but extra “Special Needs”) and for Special Ops, we need trained, attentive and seasoned crew, about 20+ per board. We also must ensure that each Wave Captain (experienced surfer volunteer) has a board to use for each Special Surfer who shows up to “shred”. Then there’s the tide. High tide takes up most of the beach. There’s so much more, but thanks to our great volunteers, we rock this like we own it. (We DO!)
We all need to shout a huge thanks to our volunteers. Without them, we would not have an event. Special thanks to the crews who register our participants and volunteers for their monthly reports. These reports allow us (me) to decide when to put out the (sometimes frantic) call for action! Thanks!
Big shout out to YCCAC (York County Community Action). Without their FREE Shuttle service, the place would have been a MESS! Dot Morin, you rock!
Brian Farrell at WCLZ, huge thanks for sending us so many great volunteers with your radio shout outs! You really delivered the goods. Different IS good!
Mary at Mary’s Cookies… (https://www.facebook.com/marys.cookies.1) we almost had a rumble to get the last cookie! WOW, DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing the love.
Tucker Winstanley- those bracelets were GENIUS! Everyone loved them and I hear the participants were over the moon! And that fundraiser was super great!
Thanks to Annie Talmadge at Saltwater Home for the new Canopies. We will be able to shelter our registration tables and volunteers, keeping the paperwork dry and the volunteers happy!
Jim Sampson at KPT Insurance, you saved the day with your insurance search, coming up with coverage so “The Show Could Go On”. Gratitude, dude.
Michelle Lemay, wow. Just wow. Your generosity is a beacon of light.
And as always, HB Provisions, you rock.
All of our wonderful beach neighbors. Thank you for your patience, parking spots, water and cheers. This truly IS a community effort. Much love to all.
2022 Volunteers Participants (Special Surfers)
June 234 99
July 259 122
August 296 120
2021 Volunteers Participants (Special Surfers)
June 149 74
July 205 88
August 252 120
With our new website, we’re still working out the kinks but having online waiver signing was a huge hit! We’ll be waiting until New Year’s Day to open up registration from now on, to keep our tracking simple.
Check out the new video from Martin’s Point Healthcare at Martin's Point Healthcare video Special Surfers It’s AMAZING! Thanks Russell Phillips, and thank you Martin’s Point for your continuing support!
With all the work that goes into these events, I (we) always come away with full heart(s). I find that once someone comes to experience this event, they’re a lifer. Thanks again for sharing your life with us. All of us are better for it.
Share the stoke every day.
Special Surfers is a non-profit organization (501(c)3) that provides the opportunity for people with special needs to surf. There is no cost to participants or their families, and all equipment and instruction is provided. Special Surfer events are held on the third Tuesday of each month in June, July, and August at Gooch’s Beach in Kennebunk, Maine. We have hundreds of special surfers and volunteers at each event providing a real sense of community and accomplishment for all.
“...Once A Hero, always A Hero. Once you come and share this amazing event, you’re hooked.”