WHAT INSPIRES US
Common bonds, love for ocean, surfing and a desire to help those in need brought the AWOW family together. The inspiration for A Walk On Water was sparked in 2000 at the 1st Annual Surfers Healing Pat Notaro Day at Malibu’s Surfrider Beach in Los Angeles, CA. Hosted by Variety The Children’s Charity, the event paid homage to Pat Notaro Jr., father of AWOW founder Pat Notaro III. Pat Jr. was a well respected Malibu surfer, member of Variety The Children’s Charity and Sony Films executive. Our founder poured his heart into every event, eventually realizing the need to create his own vision of what a nonprofit should look like. The opportunity arose to create a new surf event experience based out of Hollister Ranch, CA., one that was open to entire families and children of all disabilities and so A Walk On Water was born. The “A Walk On Water” name is derived from a movie script Pat's grandfather was going to produce before he passed away in 1970.
Over 200 special needs children and families experience the thrill of surfing and its therapeutic qualities each year through A Walk On Water. The home base for A Walk On Water, and where a majority of events are held, is Bulito Beach, at "The Ranch" in Santa Barbara, CA. Hollister Ranch is one of the singular aspects that makes AWOW unique. We are incredibly grateful to be able to hold events at this sacred ground, thanks to the kindness of its philanthropically inclined property owners.
AWOW exists largely because of our amazing volunteers and the financial support of our generous donors. These volunteers share a respect for their fellow man, the ocean and environment and most importantly: people in need. Our events are meant to raise awareness not only to humanitarian needs, but environmental as well. Without a clean and safe habitat, athletes and their families will lose the ability to experience surfing and the stoke it provides.