Boys to Men “surf nights” provide mentoring, coaching

CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA — A San Diego-based nonprofit that provides adult male mentors for at-risk teenage boys is hosting a “surf night” in Cardiff in August that will pair surfers preparing for the group’s annual fundraiser with at-risk youth needing guidance and mentoring.

Boys to Men’s Aug. 3 surf night will be held at Seaside Reef in Cardiff. It gives surfers preparing for the nonprofit’s 100 Wave Challenge, the organization’s signature fundraiser in September, a chance to teach teens — who are also preparing for the fundraiser — how to surf.

The group held the first of four of the surf nights on June 29 at Seaside, and said it was a major success. Professional surfer Damien Hobgood was one of the three surfers and six mentors present helping the 13 boys learn how to catch waves.

“We had quite a great night, there was good weather, a good crowd and I was actually glad Damian showed up so it was really nice for him to meet the boys,” said Lauryn Semere of Boys to Men. “It was everything we hoped it would be.”

The group opted to use its surf nights as a lead-up to the 100 Wave Challenge — the fundraiser that organizers describe as “Relay for Life” with waves — as opposed to the more formal event it held in the past to kick off fundraising because it gave the surfers an opportunity to interact with the boys in a more intimate setting, Semere said.

“The transition was made to have the event more focused on getting the surfers out to meet the boys,” Semere said. “The 100 Wave Challenge is very strenuous and they don’t get much time to interact with the boys as much as they would like, so this is a great opportunity for them.”

The surf-a-thon, which is scheduled for Sept. 23 at Mission Beach, accounts for 68 percent of the group’s annual budget, which has doubled since the first event eight years ago. The event raised $373,000 in 2016.  This year’s fundraising goal is $425,000. The organization plans to sign up 300 surfers this year, compared to 156 surfers in 2016.

The Aug. 3 surf night runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information on the 100 Wave Challenge, visit 100wave.org.

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