When Patti went to her car to get the board, she pretty much freaked out… it wasn’t there. She was white as a ghost as she delivered the news to me. She was frantically trying to figure out what could have happened. She and a couple other volunteers jumped in her car to re-trace her path & look for it. They returned about an hour later… no board to be found.
One of the many things I’ve learned on this journey with Ricochet is “things happen for a reason”. And that’s exactly what I told Patti. There was some reason we were no longer meant to use that board. Fortunately for that particular day, one of the camera men had a board we were able to use.
The board that was lost was a 13’ SurfTech soft top board. We need to use a soft/foam board so Ricochet can grip it. SurfTech had very graciously donated the board to us four years ago, so they were the first people I thought of to replace it. I was embarrassed to tell them that we lost the board, but I knew there was nothing else I could say. I was hoping they could donate another board. Unfortunately, they are in pretty bad financial straits so the best they could do was give me a discount, and charge me $595 for an $800 board. I was grateful.
But, I didn’t have an extra $595 lying around. And even though several of Ricochet’s Facebook fans offered to pay for it, my initial reaction was NO! We never take anything for ourselves, and I certainly didn’t want to this time either.
But then, I got a few comments on pictures I posted from the day of surfing. They were from the parents of a couple of the kids…
Gina’s daddy is in Afghanistan, but took the time to comment…
"I'm Gina's dad. Thank you very much for surfing with her again. She loves it! I only wish I could have been there to see it in person."
"This pic means more than anyone will ever know. When West was first diagnosed with Autism we were faced with so many challenges. One of the hardest ones was that he could not be off the ground. His therapists tried and failed to put him on swings and devices, but he would scream. The lack of control was terrifying. So to see his feet off the ground and him letting Ricochet take control is inspiring. West has come so far."
Those comments made me realize that I had to swallow my pride, and ask for help. Ricochet needed a surfboard to continue her work. To continue her magic. This was about the kids with special needs, people with disabilities, and wounded warriors… not about me.
So, with that I created a fundraiser to raise the $595 to purchase the Surf Tech surfboard. Within ½ hour, $595 was raised!! Ricochet could surf again thanks to these amazing people that came together for the greater good.
As I write this blog, $3270 has been raised! $514 is going toward the surfboard, and $2756 is going to the “Save a dog, save a warrior” fundraiser.
Not only did an amazing group of people come together to help purchase a surfboard so kids/people can continue surfing with Ricochet. But, this group of people have now saved the lives of a dog and a warrior!
We only have $1614 left to raise to reach our $10,000 goal for the "Save a dog, save a warrior" campaign, and then a dog will be rescued from a shelter, be trained to be a service dog, and be placed with a veteran with PTSD. Every 65 minutes a veteran commits suicide, but YOU have changed the course for one.
So, to Patti… thank you for losing our surfboard. To SurfTech… thank you for helping us realize asking for help is ok. To all our donors… thank you for wanting to help even after the goal had been met. To all the parents & family members of those Ricochet surfs with… thank you for trusting my dog.
Next time something bad happens in your life… try and see the potential for goodness. Try and turn your tragedy into triumph. Ricochet taught me how to do this, and I hope this mutt'amorphosis will teach you too.
If you'd like to donate to the surfboard initiative & have your funds go to the "Save a dog, save a warrior campaign, please click here.
PUPDATE: The pawmazing SurfTech gave us an additional discount on the board, so the total purchase price is $514. The additional $81 was allocated to the "Save a dog, save a warrior" fundraiser.
We created “Team Ricki” stickers that each surfboard donor will receive. A sticker will also go on the surfboard to represent the connection between Ricochet, the board, the donors, and of course those that ride with her.
Sharon G Abee
Belle Roche Estate Jewelry of Encinitas
Daisy, Belle & Twitch
Flying "B" Animal Transport
Bella Rose Gillum
Patti Cakes Huffman
Debra Webb Ivy
Mary Jo Lobao
Marcy, Oreo & Citgo
Lillian Lee Reitz
Rescue Me Collars
Debra Wohlrab Skinner
La Donna Storrer
Tara TrainorSheran Voss