Surf pro Tifani VanArtsdalen, cheers on a Kids Day guest

Surfer Tifani VanArtsdalen cheers
on a Kids Day guest

Helping underprivileged kids enjoy sun and surf!

Welcome to Day at the Beach! "Kids’ Day" is an annual non-profit event featuring a full day of sun, fun and surfing instruction for underprivileged children in San Diego County.

Now in its 27th year, over 60 children from St. Vincent de Paul Shelter for Homeless Families, located in San Diego downtown, are bused to the beach at La Jolla Shores for an unforgettable experience. The kids receive surfing lessons from WindanSea Surf Club volunteers and enjoy a beachside barbecue lunch, complete with bags of goodies donated by local and national sponsors.

The day is about learning and building self-esteem as much as it is about fun. The surfing lessons teach coordination, confidence, teamwork and an appreciation of nature. The kids benefit greatly by learning these skills from positive, adult role models in a fun environment.

Scot Cherry, founder

Scot Cherry, a long time member of the WindanSea Surf Club in La Jolla, currently serves as CEO and spokesperson for the event and has received the Channel 10 Leadership Award for his efforts (see video clip at left). From the event's inception in 1986 to 2006, Scot served as the event's organizer and director.

"Life is difficult for some of these kids coming from homeless families. It’s been a passion of mine to want to help bring them smiles. The homeless shelters do an outstanding job and we want to help out too".

- Scot Cherry

Special Surfers Day at the Beach

Beginning in 2001, at the suggestion of Craig Albers and another volunteer, a second Day at the Beach event was started for the San Diego County Special Olympics to benefit children and adults with Down’s syndrome and other mental/physical challenges.

"Special Surfers Day at the Beach is a marvelous program, providing our athletes with a unique opportunity to learn the basics of surfing in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. All levels of ability, including wheelchair athletes, are encouraged to participate. Most athletes never thought it possible for them to try and surf. Our athletes have responded so enthusiastically that they call far in advance in order to reserve a spot for next year's event."

- Zach Miller, San Diego County Sports For Exceptional Athletes
- Sean Cummings, Special Olympics of Southern CA,
   North San Diego County

Volunteers and sponsors make it happen!

The non-profit event is made possible by the time, energy and enthusiasm of our volunteers and the generous support of our sponsors. Their committment to Day at the Beach helps us organize and run the events year after year.

International and national surfing pros also help. Kids' Day 2003 welcomed Hawaiian surfing champion, Reno Abellera, and legendary surf competitor, Mike Doyle (see Mike in the video on Beach Events). Tifani VanArtsdalen (shown top left), daughter of the late, great "Butch" VanArtsdalen, the first man to master the Bonzai Pipeline in Hawaii, has acted as a co-director for the events as well.

We'd love your help as well. Visit our Get Involved and Donate Now sections and learn how you can make a difference in the lives of abused and homeless children and children with Down's syndrome in San Diego County.

Video Clip - Channel 10 News
Kids' Day founder Scot Cherry and a Special Olympian strike a pose together

Kids' Day founder Scot Cherry and a
Special Olympian strike a pose together