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Josh Harper has a long history of helping those facing exceptional challenges in their lives experience the freedom of the ocean and the thrill of riding a wave. He first saw the incredible impact the ocean can have while volunteering to surf with children with autism and other special needs. Over the years Josh has helped share his passion of surfing with thousands of kids and hundreds of wounded Veterans who wouldn’t have had the chance to ride on a surfboard without his dedication to making a difference, one wave a a time.
Keith Lovgren has been volunteering at community service for many years. His first event was while overseas on active duty with the U.S. Marines. At a local orphanage in Japan, he and several other Marines and Sailors organized monthly sports clinics for the children. With money from their own pockets they purchased food an American style BBQ to make the day that much more special for the kids. It was the first time many of the orphans had tasted American style food.
After his honorable discharge he continued his community service, most notably at free surf camps. In the last 7 years he has helped hundreds of children with autism and other special challenges and dozens of wounded veterans enjoy the magic of riding waves.
Tom has been very active in the nonprofit community for many years; he has worked with the Newport Beach Sport Museum to reach at-risk children and teens, has been a strong advocate for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, and also served on the Board of Director for Kids Cancer Connection from 1998-2002. He contributes to the Laguna Beach Boys and Girls Club by supplying computers and technical services to their recreation room.
In 2002, Tom was one of the first to join the Board of Directors for Miracles for Kids and continues to be an active member for the past ten years. In 2010, Tom orchestrated Stand Up Paddle and Surf Camps for Children’s Hospital Orange County patients this program allows 100 plus outpatient children, their siblings, and their parents to escape from their daily routine of trips to the hospital and treatments and enjoy a day at the beach. Tom was honored to be invited to join the Waves of Impact team as a Director – this opportunity has allowed him to continue offering these camps to children. He believes that there is nothing more rewarding than empowering individuals facing exceptional challenges (i.e., wounded Armed Forces Veterans, Children with Autism, etc.) with the opportunity to experience one of life’s greatest pleasures of riding a wave. He is not only enthusiastic about instructing children in the water, but teaching them the importance of taking care of and protecting the ocean, its beaches, and the environment.
“There is no better joy in life than combing two of my greatest passions – being in the water and helping others” – Tom Swanecamp