Surf shop teaches children with special needs to ride waves

Published On: Jun 19 2013 06:51:16 AM HST

Dozens of volunteers came to Kennebunk for surfer nights for special needs children on Tuesday.

The free event is held three times a summer. One of the organizers said more than 100 children have gotten lessons through the program.

“(I’m) so proud. It’s like watching your kid hit a home run in the World Series or score a touchdown in the Super Bowl. It’s really great,” said parent Scott Wentzell.

Maureen MacDonald said it’s her son’s second time at the special surfer night. MacDonald said the program has done amazing things for her son.

“It just provides the opportunity for these guys to come out and be like any other kid and enjoy the ocean and have a good time. It’s great to see as a parent,” said MacDonald.

Aquaholics Surf Shop in Kennebunkport has run the program for several years. It has become so popular that the business is going online for fundraising efforts to get more children involved.

“Every year, it just gets better, and these kids, you get to know them more and more, and you see the progress they’re making,” said Maureen Dow, of Aquaholics. “The $35,000 will get 40 nine-foot boards, 10 10-foot boards, wetsuits so all the kids can have their own wetsuits, leashes and a shed to put them in.”

Organizers said anyone can help and volunteer.

“Anybody who can stand in the water, (with) two strong arms, maybe one strong arm. It’s all good. It’s all there for support,” said volunteer Brad Henderson.


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