Santa Barbara’s women’s surf program, iSurf School, has launched a new Watergirl Fund to help introduce girls to the joys of surfing. The fund is a scholarship program that will provide needs-based scholarships for surf instruction and will introduce the wonders of surfing to girls, ages 5-15, who would don’t have access to the sport. The fund will also provide 100% scholarship and sponsorship funded surf programing to Girls, Inc. throughout the year, according to a statement from Alelia Parenteau, the owner of iSurf School.
The Fund will officially launch on Aug. 17 at the iSurf Block Party, produced by WA Event Management & Consulting and hosted by The Valley Project (AVA Santa Barbara) and Pali Wine Co. The festivities include a silent auction, raffle, music, pig roast, ice cream stand and beer and wine.
Parenteau says “The goal is to raise $15,000 to provide needs-based scholarships up to 30 girls to attend a quarter of after school program. The girls selected would not have been able to attend without the invaluable support of the community.”
“Everyone has their own unique way of surfing,” says Gabi Turnbull, age 9 and an alum of the iSurf After School Program, “some surf schools teach the “one” way to surf but at iSurf you’re encouraged to develop your own style and explore your interests. Plus, I feel like a part of something bigger – a connection with the environment and the global surf community. My life IS surfing now, that’s how much I love it.”
iSurf has already partnered with prominent businesses in the Santa Barbara community to make this event a success. Donors include Lole Atelier, SeaVees, Horny Toad, The Valley Project, Pali Wine Co, the Canary Hotel, and many more (for a complete list please see the Watergirl Fund webpage).
“We are completely humbled by the support of the community to make this event a major success,” says Parenteau, “it’s amazing to see how many people think this cause is important and see the value of this program and of surfing in general to the young girls in our community.”
The event will be held on Sunday, August 17 from 5–9 p.m. at the Valley Project and Pali Wine Co, 116 E. Yanonali St. in the Funk Zone. For more information click here.
Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on August 10, 2014.