More than 150 people participated June 1 in “Fun in the Sun for Everyone,” a program that gives special needs children and adults and their families the opportunity to enjoy the beach in a safe and inclusive setting. The non-profit Pockets Full of Sunshine organization hosted this event in front of Marriott’s Surf Watch on Hilton Head Island. Activities included paddle boarding, boogie boarding, surfing, beach games, sand castle building and face painting. Volunteers instructors taught participants how to surf and paddleboard. More than 40 volunteers helped at the event. Outside Hilton Head and GoSurf Hilton Head provided paddleboards, surfboards and staff to help during the event.
Supporters included: Bluffton Veterinary Hospital, Coastal Marketing, Core Pilates, Crescent Moon Pictures; DJ Crush; Feiner Electric; Finger, Melnick & Brooks; Go Surf Hilton Head; Heritage Classic Foundation; Hudson's; James L Van Grouw CPA; Kinghorn Insurance; Leftover Ladies; Low Country Shelving and Glass; Louette Boutique; Lynes on Design; Northern Industrial Manufacturing; Osprey Village; Outside Hilton Head; Palmetto Electric; Spencer Special Events; Transportation Safety Apparel; Tree Wisemen, Unfettered and Walgreens.
“Fun in the Sun for Everyone” grew out of a 2015 Special Needs Surf Day started by local high school surfer James Bartholomew, who wanted to provide a fun day of surfing for his sister and her classmates with special needs.
Since 2014, Pockets Full of Sunshine has been working to make Beaufort County a sunnier place by employing intellectually and physically disabled adults. Founded by Dayna Dehlinger and Laurin Rivers, PFS has a goal of bridging the gap between general population and individuals with special needs. Through providing employment opportunities for exceptional individuals, Pockets Full of Sunshine will provide special needs individuals with increased independence, growth and sense of personal pride.
Pockets Full of Sunshine was inspired by recycled material from an automotive label company that looks like a small yellow ‘sunshine’. The ‘sunshines’ are recycled and re-purposed by adults with disabilities who turn them into greeting cards, gift tags, magnets and stationary. Funds raised support community focused employment of adults with special needs. For more information about Pockets Full of Sunshine visit www.pocketsfullofsun.org.