I am writing you this letter in hopes that it will be read by others. My name is Mark Madrid and I went down to support your A Walk On Water event on August 24, 2019, but I had no idea that I would receive a very moving experience.

I grew up in Southern California, so I have always been in love with surfing and beach culture. In high school, I convinced by speech teacher to let me read Surfing Magazine out loud to her to practice my speech. In addition, I have been attending the U.S. Open of Surfing on a yearly basis for the last 18 years. My point is, I love the sport of surfing!

In early summer, I saw a news story about your A Walk On Water event. I had not heard about an event like this before, so I just wanted to come down and show my support. I thought to myself, “What a cool concept to get children with disabilities out surfing!” As a man with Cerebral Palsy, this was an event I really related to.

When I arrived, I was greeted by two very nice gentlemen who were most helpful in getting me down to the beach. After talking to some of the volunteers, I was told that I could also sign up to go out. I very quickly took the opportunity. Within an hour and a half of arriving at the event, I was catching my first wave ever! The rush of being on that first ride is something I’ll hold dear to my heart for the rest of my living days. The feeling I had was the same feeling I had the first time I flew on an airplane alone. I felt free…it would be the first of six waves that day. In one word, AWESOME!!!

I would really like to thank A Walk On Water for an outstanding event. All of the volunteers were kind, helpful, and considerate. I would really like to thank Dale and another man who helped me surf. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be out catching waves. Above all else, I was very humbled by the by children who were walking around with smiles on their faces due to the love, care, and support of the volunteers, organizers, and sponsors who made the event possible. It had a profound impact on me.

Thank you.

– Mark Madrid