What began for Haley Watson as grief several years ago, where she lost her mother to heart disease, has blossomed into a weekend of heart disease awareness and the opportunity to honor her mother and other moms at her annual Memorial Surf Classic, which took place Saturday, May 7, at Flagler Beach.
“The turnout was absolutely wonderful,” Watson said. “This year was certainly the biggest and best event yet. We were very fortunate to have amazing weather and some really fun surf.” Nearly 100 surfers headed to the beach for the event and to support Watson, their fellow surfer.
Perhaps, the honored surf moms, when they took to the water to “show their children how it’s done,” offer the most excitement of the day. She, along with mothers, Lauren Bennett, Carla Cline, Jennifer Blumenfeld, Amy Glenn, Amy Coluccio, Colleen Conklin and Marti Leavins, generated laughs from the surf community, but Conklin considers the event worth the momentary embarrassment
“Technically, I'm a much better floater then I am surfer,” Conklin joked. “However, this is one of those very special events that our circle of moms are usually willing to put ourselves out there. Haley is a very special part of our family, and I'm touched by her dedication to bring heart disease awareness to other moms.” Each Surf Mom receives a piece of hand-carved wooden surf art, crafted by local business owner Lance Carroll, along with Mother’s Day prize bags.
The event also featured a party with raffles and auction with all of the items donated by local businesses, and the kids were able to create handmade Mother’s Day gifts at a free craft tent.
“I founded the event as a way to remember her and all she was constantly doing to make a difference in other people's lives.” Watson said, “and I just think it is so cool how, over the years, the event has evolved into a celebration of our community and a way to honor all of our moms.”