SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Surfers caught a lot waves Thursday night as they raised money as part of the 9th Annual 100-Wave Challenge – benefiting Boys to Men.
Surfers like world champion Shaun Tomson stood up for boys at the Bird’s Surf Shed-It in an effort to help reach the 49,000 fatherless boys in San Diego County.
Boys to Men is a non-profit organization dedicated to guiding at-risk, often fatherless boys, in middle and high schools.
Joe Sigurdson is the Boys to Men Mentoring founder. “The 100-Wave Challenge has been key to the growth and the success of Boys to Men. It has allowed us to go into schools and have a broader reach and to help more boys.”
The Fundraiser, Catch 100 Waves in One Day, started with three schools and is now in 43 schools with 60 groups and more than 1,000 participating young men.
“When I started the program I was lost. Being 12-years-old having a bunch of stuff come down, you don’t know here you are at,” said Brandon Maldonado, a former mentee in Boys to Men.
Maldonado graduated high school last year. He said he did not have a father to admire until Boys to Men mentoring. “Now, I do fund things on the side. I build decks and I am an engineer at Sharp. It’s great! I did not think eight years ago this would happen.”
Success stories like Maldonado’s are thanks to mentors like Brian Mulvaney. “I think I get just as much out of it as they do. I have a bunch of guys here in high school that are my bros and I am kind of like an uncle for them.”
Boys to Men started at E3 Civic High – a charter school in the East Village this year and the executive director already sees a difference. “They behave differently and then they want to invite their peers to join them. That is how you know it is something good because they want to tell a friend,” said Dr. Helen Griffith, Ph.D., Executive Director.
Boys to Men Mentoring hopes to raise $400,000 this year for the 100-Wave Challenge. On October 7th, the public is invited to watch mentors, professional surfers, firefighters, police and lifeguards hit the waves for change in Mission Beach.
To donate to Boys to Men Mentoring, visit their website here.