SCOTT CAAN - ACTOR, SURFER, PHILANTHROPIST
Scott Caan grew up in Los Angeles surfing Santa Monica and Venice, he has been helping people experience the therapeutic calm and stoke of the ocean through surfing for over 15 years.
He has been surfing and skate boarding since he was 12.
Scott originally got involved with being a surf instructor for Surfers Healing with the Pascowitz family. One day when Scott was in Malibu he was watching an event they were having at and they had too many kids and not enough surf instructors. He was friendly with one of the brothers who knew that he was very familiar with the waves at Malibu, he was then asked to help out. He has been helping kids and adults surf ever since.
Along with A Walk On Water has also worked with Surfers Healing, Thera Surf, and Life Rolls On, Scott has taken kids and adults with special needs surfing on his own with no affiliation to any of the above mentioned charities.
Scott has been working with AWOW since its conception and selfishly takes advantage of any opportunity to take a kid into the water and go surfing.
"Nothing makes me happier." - Scott Caan
MATT NOBLE - SURF INSTRUCTOR
Matt Noble was born April 15,1978 in National, California. He was raised in Kehei, HI, Columbus, GA, and Ventura, CA in a household that expected high levels of respect and obedience.
After high school, Noble went on to study Mechanical Engineering in college. He now has an established career as a business owner, skilled fabricator and vintage automotive restoration/custom artist. “I take pride in being known in my community as the best at what I do and having a stellar reputation for quality and customer service.”
Noble is a proud husband, and father to two amazing boys. Being a father and role model to his children is his main focus as an adult. Teaching them the level of respect that he learned as a small child. “Surfing, skateboarding, camping, art and restoration projects together as a family is how we stay well connected, family first.”
“Involving myself in the community and charities for the benefit of the less fortunate has always been an important activity for me. For the last four years I have been involved with, and I am now a board member of an incredible foundation, A Walk On Water. As a group of watermen and volunteers we get to share our love for the ocean and surfing with special needs children and their families.”
“Life is short do good things…” - Matt Noble
DALE RHODES - HONORARY AMBASSADOR & SURF INSTRUCTOR
Dale Rhodes is a true Southern California native – embodying the eponymous California active lifestyle. Rhodes grew up in the Los Angeles area playing baseball and skateboarding at a very young age until he stumbled onto surfing the catalyst that launched his deep love of the ocean and surfing, was a 4-month surf trip to Panama with family members from Hawaii who were working on a surf movie.
He honed his surfing skills as a top rated NSSA amateur surfing champion in the mid 80’s and early 90’s. During this time he also worked in the surfing industry and embarked on a successful career as a top sales representative and executive with brands such as Hurley and now, KatinUSA.
3 years ago Dale found his purpose in life after working with special needs children at an A Walk On Water event, which struck a cord with him. He later forged a strategic partnership with KatinUSA and A Walk On Water which dovetailed with both companies desire in giving back to humanity.
Today, Dale Rhodes is the Vice President of Sales at KatinUSA, volunteers his time as a coach for Malibu High School Surf Team and mentors top rated amateur athletes.
Dale resides on Point Dume in Malibu and enjoys bonding with daughter Saxon Ryan Rhodes over their mutual passion for surfing.
Homebreak: A sweet little corner in LA.
RUBE ESCALANTE - HONORARY AMBASSADOR & SURF INSTRUCTOR
Ruben James Escalante was born and bred in Southern California.
Growing up in the SFV (San Fernando Valley) He encountered many difficult obstacles growing up with violence peer pressure and gangs.
He turned to sports as a way out by excelling in football and baseball.
As a top prospect in both sports he was scouted after by many clubs teams and 4 A schools.
It was during this time he was introduced to surfing for the first time while on a family camping trip
to the beach. After riding his first wave there was no looking back! and it was then where his love and passion
for the ocean was born.
He moved to Ocean Beach San Diego to pursue his surfing where he began competing and making a name for himself
in the local surf scene.
After many years in San Diego he retuned to Los Angeles and moved to Malibu Ca.Where he lived surfed and became
a part of the local surfing community.
It was then he became a member of the Malibu Surfing Association The most prestigious and first surf club in California.
As Co Competition Team Captain he traveled up and down the California coast competing with surf teams from santa Cruz to Mexico.
In 2010 he was honored and chosen to take the MSA surf team to compete in Australia at the Noosa Festival of Surfing Contest.
Representing the only team from the United States against an international field of teams.
He was proud to take Team MSA to the finals and return with a 3rd Place finish.
As an MSA board member Ruben James became Vice President of the club and served under two presidents with multi year terms.
He continues to work in the community with many non profit clubs and charities, with the goal of raising awareness for his love of
the ocean and his home break Malibu SurfRider Beach.
These Days when not working in the Television and Motion Picture Industry he stays active working with special needs children
and sharing the healing powers of mother ocean to those in need.
Simply put... At the end of the day, Its all about giving back!
and Sharing The Stoke!!!
TIMOTHY HAZELIP - HONORARY AMBASSADOR & SURF INSTRUCTOR
Tim's relentless drive is a quest to help children of special needs via ocean therapy. He is also a pro surf instructor, published author and an accomplished filmmaker, as well as lead editor at The Skate Channel. The sheer joy he experiences while participating in his charity work is magnetic, it’s contagious. One only has to look at the professionals that surround him.
His love for the water and sharing the stoke of a lifestyle the ocean has brought, is nothing compared to the joy of telling the stories behind it. He's just that... a story-teller. He is as passionate about hearing the old stories as he is about telling the new ones. His perceptive skills for his surroundings often lands him in the right place at the right time. If he has a camera, you'll see it and if he doesn't, you'll read about it later.
He figured, nobody is shooting... I will. He has been involved with children with special needs his entire life.
DOUG HEDIN - BOARD MEMBER & BEACH MARSHALL
Doug was born in Thousand Oaks, Ca and grew up as an active kid moving nonstop. Surfing, skateboarding, BMX, wake boarding, hiking, etc. anything that involved speed. As an adult, Doug continues to enjoy surfing, travel, and giving back in order to help create a better world.
He has worked with children for over 25 years in different roles. Currently a school principal he has also worked as a Dean of Students, classroom teacher, coach, life guard, swim instructor, PE teacher, summer camp counselor, tutor, and more.
Doug's natural lives with his beautiful daughter Karlee spending as much time as possible at the beach surfing, skateboarding, hiking, or anything else that involves moving.
CATHERINE GREGORY - Honorary Ambassador & Stills
As a native Southern Californian, Catherine Gregory has always had a deep love of the ocean. Her summers were spent at the beach packing peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and hopping on the bus for the short trip from Irvine, CA to Newport Beach, even before she could drive. Catherine enjoyed hanging out all day watching the surf action. Attending art school at a young age, her paintings were of sunsets and water scenes. Later in life she discovered a passion for photography as another creative outlet and started shooting the very scenes she loved to paint as a girl. Catherine is rarely without her camera in tow. She spends hours on the shore taking surf shots just for the love of it. As the sun sets, she doesn’t miss the opportunity to shoot that, too. Catherine resides in San Clemente, California which brings all of her favorite things to her front door.
PANCHO SULLIVAN - Honorary Ambassador
Born on the Island of Kauai in a tree house and raised on the North Shore of Oahu Pancho Sullivan’s life was set out to be nothing less then extraordinary. Drawn to life as a pro surfer by fate, Pancho cut his teeth on the most challenging waves in the world, quickly being recognized as a powerhouse. He competed professionally for 20 years finishing 7th on the World Championship Tour. Walking away from the tour on his own terms, Pancho is now dedicated to new challenges that he tackles head on including working with Island Daze , establishing Aulta Surf, and coaching some of the best surfers in the world to victory.
Homebreak: Sunset Beach|Oahu,HI
erik torregroza - surf instructor
Erik Torregroza was born in West Palm Beach, Fla. At a very young age his mom instilled his love for the ocean. Soon he discovered surfing and skating in the sunshine state and was forever hooked. He moved to Southern California to receive his Masters in Fine Arts degree from Claremont Graduate University. Upon completion he moved to Los Angeles where he started painting and teaching and was able to take full advantage of Surfing and skating all the classic California spots.
He has been teaching children Fine Arts for over 20 years. He currently teaches at a private prekindergarten and is a part time professor at various colleges and Universities. He started seeing his first special needs students early in his teaching career. He learned He was able to use art as a therapeutic practice in strengthening students motor skills, providing emotional well-being, and building self-confidence.
Being a long way from home he searched for his beach community and found it in Malibu. Later he became a member of the Malibu Surfing Association. For the first time he started volunteering for nonprofit clubs and charities through the M.S.A. and saw what a difference he could make.
Shortly thereafter he volunteered at his first event with AWOW and it was a life changing experience for him and his wife and AWOW volunteer April Torregroza. He had never experienced such a large and organized event put on not just for the athletes, but for the whole families. He is honored to share the stoke of surfing and the healing energies of the ocean through a blue mind philosophy.
"The best way to hold on to what you know, is by passing that knowledge and passion unto others." - Erik Torregroza
Homebreak: Surfrider | Malibu
CHRIS THOMPSON - Honorary Ambassador & Surf Instructor
Native Southern Californian, Chris was born in Santa Monica, and grew up competing in Marshal Arts, BMX and Motocross. Chris took up surfing after career ending injuries from racing motorcycles. He has been involved in the special needs surf community (along with Pat, Steven & Scott) for over 10 years. Chris makes it very known how stoked he is to be part of the AWOW family since the beginning. Currently a competitive tandem surfer (ISTA World Tandem & ISA World Tandem organizations) he trains with the acrobat community at OMB (Original Muscle Beach) in Santa Monica on Sundays. Occupation is a Computer Network Engineer.
" I am very honored to be part of an amazing family of such talented and accomplished individuals"
Homebreak: Drain Pipes | Zuma Beach | Malibu,CA
JEAN PIERRE PEREAT- Honorary Ambassador & Surf Instructor
JP grew up in Los Angeles raised by a devoted single mother and without a father. When he was 12 years old, he was introduced to our collective mother, the Ocean and found the father-figure/mentor I sought in the largess of the surf. JP has spent forty years developing a relationship with the ocean, he has traveled all over the world surfing.
18 years ago, my life expanded when my nephew arrived on this planet with Autism. When all else failed for he nephew JP turned to what healed himself, for the answer.
His nephews life was transformed and JP's participation in his nephew's transformation transformed JP himself. For the last 15 years JP has been working with children with all varieties of sensory issues and disabilities. Four years ago, JP joined A WALK ON WATER. "As an organization, we have touched and healed many lives and relationships just as these wonderful gifts have touched ours. "
JP's deepest desire is to raise awareness for the cause globally. The benefits of surf therapy are beyond measure.
JP's mission is to reach out to local communities worldwide and create sustainable surf therapy programs.
"Surfing is my life. - Jean Pierre Pereat"
JEREMEY LABREAU - Honorary Ambassador & Surf Instructor
Jeremy LaBreau grew up Artesia Ca. He was introduced to skateboarding and surfing at an early age. Little did he know, it would all turn into a lifelong passion that would allow him to generate some amazing accomplishments as an amateur skateboarder, artist, surfboard shaper, film maker, and business owner. Jeremy is the founder, owner, and shaper of LaBreau Surfboards based out of Huntington Beach, Ca. While sponsoring the same local surf contest in Seal Beach as AWOW, he was amazed by what he had seen. Without hesitation Jeremy introduced himself to the President and Vice President of the organization and began asking how he could get involved. Down the line he utilized his surfboard shaping skills and was commissioned to make custom AWOW surfboards in order to help raise money for future events. Today, you can find him in the line-up as one of our Honorary AWOW Surf Instructors at our events! Jeremy currently resides in Huntington Beach where he continues to passionately shape and operate LaBreau Surfboards.
Homebreak: Southside|Huntington Beach,CA
DJANGO MARSH – AMBASSADOR & BEACH/WATER SAFETY
Born in England in 2001, he came to California in 2006. By the time he was 8, he was involved in sailing, surfing and ice hockey. In middle school ice hockey was replaced by the school swim team, but sailing and surfing have always remained a staple in his life.
He first volunteered for AWOW in 2013, received his jacket in April of 2016, (Just in time for his 15th birthday) and became an ambassador the following year. Django is currently enrolled at New Roads High School in Santa Monica, (where he is also an ambassador and a member of the leadership council). He is actively involved in the film department, theater and the swim team.
Homebreak: Venice Breakwater|California
KELSEY MARIE WHITE - PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
Kelsey Marie was born in Bellflower,CA, raised in Seal Beach,CA as well as Maui,Hawaii. Growing up in a diverse house hold Kelsey has become fluent in English, Spanish as well as American Sign Language.
She grew up surfing in Huntington Beach and on the island of Maui with her late cousin Eric Ibbetson. Along with surfing Kelsey Marie actively is involved in scuba diving, photography, journalism, Muay Thai, Kali, club soccer, horse back riding,writing code, and deep sea fishing.
While attending Los Alamitos High School she was the Manager of the Surf Team, after graduating Kelsey moved to Ventura,California at 18 to attend Brooks Institute as a Visual Journalism major with a focus on non-profits and military veterans with PTSD. She has since transferred to Mount Saint Mary’s University as part of the Journalism in New Media program and plans on completing her Masters in Psychology with a focus in Abnormal Psychology/PTSD and Addiction.
In addition to A Walk On Water, the other non profits Kelsey has been deeply involved with are: We Care Homeless Prevention of Los Alamitos, ARC of Downey, Royal Family Kids Camp, Honoring Our Fallen, National Charity League, Donate Life California,as well as being a full time student, Kelsey is a Junior High Sunday school teacher at Sea Coast Grace Church in Cypress,California.
She spends any spare time in Seal Beach with her parents, 6 “brothers” and extended family. As well as traveling the coast of Southern California in her truck to numerous beaches surfing and volunteering with A Walk On Water.
Her continued motivations are her family, those she supports, her faith and her late best friend Kevin Woyjeck.
Homebreak: South Side|Seal Beach,CA Little Makaha|Maui,HI
"Stay Solid."- Kelsey Marie
Samuel Morgan - Father of AWOW Athlete
Samuel Morgan is a Southern California resident who grew up in the Inland Empire. In his youth his was involved in baseball, BMX, and Stage Craft. After high school he studied psychology in college. In his spare time he traveled to places such as Alaska and Ireland.
Samuel has been working for Kaiser Permanente for the past 10 years. He met his wife Jennifer in 2002. They both have three children together; their middle child Jacob has Autism.
From the beginning Samuel was proactive in educating himself about the neurological condition. Since his son met Steven Lippmann at the age of 3 he knew surfing was the perfect therapy for Jacob. His goal is to reach out to other families with special needs children to share the stoke of surf therapy.
Dian Vanderhave - Hollister Ranch Homeowner & Resident AWOW Angel
Denise Olson-Drury -Team Lead Wetsuits
Denise has lived in California her whole life and grew up on Hollywood Beach in Oxnard. She worked at her family owned restaurant, Mrs. Olson’s Coffee Hut, and later became a registered nurse. Denise was as an ER nurse for several years and now works as a nurse in social services at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura. She is a mother of two adult daughters, Kaley, who is also studying to be a nurse and Kirra, who is a personal trainer. Both girls attended surf camps in their adolescent years. Denise has always had a heart for children and individuals with special needs. She met the AWOW team at Ventura’s Surf Rodeo and was drawn to the organization because of the incredible work they do with the athletes in the healing ocean. She initially became involved to support her great-nephew, Andrew, who has autism and quickly began volunteering in the wetsuit tent. She loves the interaction with the athletes, siblings and families while putting on the gear needed to get in the water.
ANTHONY CORRAL - HONORARY AMBASSADOR & SURF INSTRUCTOR
Born September 1, 1977, Anthony Corral has lived in Southern California his entire life. Raised in El Monte, Walnut, and West Covina. Growing up, Anthony played sports year round. Baseball, football, basketball, and soccer. He eventually stuck with just baseball, which he played through high school and college. Playing for the prestigious West Covina Dukes baseball club is where he honed his baseball, (and life) skills. Anthony credits coaches Duke Defrates and Bob Lamb for teaching him the fundamentals and mental aspects of baseball which carried over to everyday life.
He came out just to observe at one of the very first A Walk on Water events. From that moment on, he knew this was something special, and he wanted to be a part of the awow family. His cousins Jennifer and Sam Morgan's son Jacob, is one of the original awow athletes. There is a very strong bond between Jacob and Anthony. Jacob would be crying, kicking and screaming, when he first started surfing. Now, through all the awow events and taking Jacob surfing on the side, Jacob is able (and only wants) to surf on his own! He is proof that surf therapy is real.
Anthony feels that providing surf therapy for children with special needs provides pure joy to the athlete and his/her family, as well as the surf instructor and all the volunteers.
Today, Anthony lives with his beautiful wife Annie in Camarillo. Together, they own a successful door and window installation business. He values family time and is still very close with his brother Eric, sister Pook, his mom Joan, and dad Tony. He loves his nephews and niece as if they were his own. They are always there at the awow events to show support. So if you see The Corrals, stop by and say hi! You will be happy you did!
Anthony's role models are his parents, and his in laws.
Homebreak: Ventura (R.P!)
JOHN AND KIM MURPHY- PARENTS OF HAOLE
John and Kim Murphy live in Ventura, Ca. Their love for surfing and beach life drove them to make the move from Santa Clarita Valley a few years ago. They have been regularly surfing for the last 10 years after John surprised Kim with surf lessons.
John is a Foreman/Heavy Equipment Operator for Toro Enterprises, and has been in the business for the past 30 years. Kim works as a Registered Dental Assistant for an Orthodontic group, which she has been employed with for 29 years.
Two years ago they had the opportunity to experience an AWOW event with their surfing dog Haole, and it was a perfect fit! John & Kim feel in love with the soothing power of surfing, and being able to help others receive that same gift has been exceptionally rewarding for them.
In their free time you can find them at their home break C-Street with their two kids(with paws!!) Haole and Primo.
HAOLE- TEAM MASCOT
My name is Haole and I am an 8 year old Yellow Lab whose true passion is surfing. I reside in Ventura, Ca with my parents John and Kim Murphy, & my younger dog brother Primo. I have been enjoying beach life since I was 4 months old.A couple of months before my 5th birthday, I "told" my parents I wanted to surf! Upon swimming out to my Dad coming in on a wave, I attempted to get on my Dad's board and have literally been surfing ever since.
For more than 3 years now I have been competing in the dog surfing circuit, and my parents say I'm well respected throughout the surf dog community. However, my main focus is my involvement with A Walk on Water. My Mom says my calm, mild nature allows me to connect with all people especially children. I have an incredible way of earning their trust. My parents and I find pure happiness in sharing the stoke of surfing with the A Walk on Water athletes and their families. This is my second year surfing with AWOW. According to my Dad, my best quality is making people smile as I cruise in on my waves. I've been told that I have the soul of an old surfer, laid back and always happy, and have brought much happiness to those whom I have met along the way. I am proud to represent AWOW as their Ambassadog, am recognized as a Canine Good Citizen, and will continue to surf & spread stoke as long as my 4 legs will allow.