Surfing Santa Autism Benefit Contest


Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel Presents The 2nd Annual Surfing Santa Competition To Benefit Children With Autism

Dana Point, CA – September 2011 – Dress like Santa, surf Salt Creek and raise money for Surfers Healing and children with Autism. The Second Annual Surfing Santa Contest takes place at Salt Creek on Saturday, November 19 at 8 a.m. The Surfing Santa Competition features a $1,000 prize for the Flying Rudolph Big Air category. There are prizes for each additional category including Santa’s Helpers (15 and under), Santa’s Elves (16-20 year olds), Toymakers (ages 20+), and Yule Loggers (open long board). Entry fee is $40 per person and includes the contest and a Surf Swag Bag.

Surfers Healing seeks to enrich the lives of people living with autism by exposing them to the unique experience of surfing. Surfers Healing was founded by Israel and Danielle Paskowitz. Their son, Isaiah, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Like many autistic children, he often suffered from sensory overload– simple sensations could overwhelm him. The ocean was the one place where he seemed to find respite. A former competitive surfer, Israel hit upon an idea–with Isaiah on the front of his surfboard, and Izzy steering from the back, the two spent the day surfing together. Surfing had a profound impact on Isaiah. Israel and Danielle decided they wanted to share this unique therapy with other autistic children. They began to host day camps at the beach where autistic children and their families could be exposed to a completely new experience of surfing.

The Surfing Santa Contest is part of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel’s Community Footprints program. The Contest, combined with the Annual Holiday Surfboard Auction, has raised more than $57,000 over the last three year. Community Footprints was created to encourage leadership in volunteerism, fundraising, product donations and mentoring programs at a local level. No project is considered too large or too small. Dedicated Ritz-Carlton Ladies and Gentlemen provide a wide range of support and services to their community, including fund-raising for local charities, reading to the blind, preparing and serving lunches at homeless shelters, donating books to schools and volunteering at food banks. The Ritz-Carlton Community Footprints stresses that the most important resource is not always money, but time.

Situated atop a 150-foot bluff in picturesque Dana Point, California, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel has catered to the world’s most discriminating guests for more than 27 years. Whether guests are looking to get away for a second honeymoon, try surfing for the first time, or just relax on the beach, this seaside retreat boasts luxuriously appointed guestrooms, casual and upscale dining options, a recently renovated spa and access to several local golf courses. Consistently ranked among the best resorts in the world, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel offers a variety of recreational activities, award-winning dining and personalized service. For more information or reservations call 800/241-3333, the hotel directly at 949/240-2000, a travel professional or visit The Ritz-Carlton website at www.ritzcarlton.com.