From the Desk of the Publisher

Spotlight on Tireless Volunteers

Let’s face it: much has been asked of all of us these past 18 or so months. Wearing masks, practicing quarantine, being told the vaccinated don’t have to wear a mask then being told that we do are all examples of the many instructions and rules we’ve been given.

While many of us have had it and don’t have the energy to give anything more, there is a loyal group of volunteers who don’t mind giving whatever is needed … and getting soaked in the process.

These are the volunteers with Life Rolls On – They Will Surf Again, a nonprofit that was started by world champion surfer Jesse Billauer, who suffered a traumatic injury when surfing in 1996. Jesse loved surfing and figured a way to not only continue surfing as a quadriplegic but to offer others the chance to hit the waves too. On Saturday morning, I headed to Santa Monica to cheer on members of my family, as well as family friends, who were volunteering in this awe-inspiring event.

Whether helping adaptive surfers onto a specially made wheelchair to get them to the waiting surfboard, loading them onto the board, carrying them into the water or working the waves in the shallow, mid-water or deep water sections, these volunteers are entirely focused on “their” surfer. Their goal is to make sure the surfers, some of whom are really young, feel safe and secure as they ride the breakers onto shore. Volunteers on shore not only keep their eyes on the riders but also alert the water volunteers of time limits or other things on the shore that they need to be aware of. The purple team, which all of our family and friends work on, has about 40 people on it – and there are several teams that work at LRO.

There are three LRO events per year – in La Jolla, Huntington Beach and Santa Monica – and typically you’ll see the same volunteers at all three events.

Saturday’s surf was challenging and early on it was evident that hoping for a good-sized wave was not going to be a problem; however, it meant more work for the volunteers. I know my family members were exhausted when they made it home later in the day.


But of course I wasn’t home when my family arrived back from LRO on Saturday. Saturday was also the CV Chamber’s Hometown Country Fair and in the late morning I left Santa Monica to make my way to Crescenta Valley Park. CV Weekly shared an information booth at the fair with Prom Plus so we had plenty of traffic from folks who stopped by to learn more about Prom Plus or to commend or offer story suggestions to the CVW staff.

I’ve attended every fair since the beginning (over 15 years ago) and, in my opinion, this one was the best attended. Parking was at a premium (I parked on a side street off Honolulu) and the park itself was full with people and kids and dogs – after all, the fair had something for everyone! Merchants had a variety of items for sale and there was a wide assortment of food trucks with yummy fair food plus live entertainment – what a great way to spend the day.

Thanks to the CV Chamber of Commerce and its hard-working volunteers for pulling it all together.