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News Update: June 1, 2006


Last summer Tim Garrett, Vice President for Marketing for O’Neill Clothing spent his summer giving back to the sport he loves. Tim spent his Sundays helping to teach at-risk youth from the Los Angeles inner city how to surf with the nonprofit organization Boarding House Mentors (BHM). “It was the unique community created by Boarding House Mentors that kept me coming back. Many of these kids come from broken homes and a lack of opportunities, Boarding House made it possible for these kids to experience a positive and healthy environment through surfing—and at the end of the day these kids became surfers,” shared Tim. It was from Tim’s volunteer work with Boarding House Mentors that a natural partnership between O’Neill and Boarding House Mentors was borne.

O’Neill announces a partnership as title sponsor for Boarding House Mentors’ surfing programs. O’Neill’s sponsorship includes O’Neill/Pass the Stoke (BHM motto) t-shirts which are being sold nationwide with proceeds benefiting BHM, brand new wetsuits for program participants and beach canopies for sun protection on the beach. “O’Neill has become a champion of the community we create on the beach for these kids. Their support is unparalleled, and it is their backing that will allow for Boarding House Mentors to expand its operations to Pass the Stoke to even more kids at-risk up and down the California coast”, shared Grace Padilla-Kastenberg, BHM’s Executive Director. “Much like the pioneering spirit of O’Neill, they have similarly stepped up to expand the capacity of Boarding House Mentors as an organization. We are grateful beyond words for their support” added Chris Black, Boarding House Mentor’s President.

Boarding House Mentors is governed by a Board of Directors who themselves are passionate surfers, snowboarders and committed nonprofit professionals. Boarding House Mentors is operated solely through the hard work and dedication of these and many other committed volunteers. In addition to surfing programs, Boarding House Mentors offers snowboarding programs and will soon be adding skateboarding to its offerings. “Boarding House Mentors volunteers are the heart and soul of the organization, their dedication and contributions are instrumental to our operations”, cited Maria Busby Boarding House Mentors Program Coordinator and Co-Founder. “Our volunteers live the Boarding House Mentors motto Pass the Stoke through their actions and contributions everyday”, she added.

Boarding House Mentors works closely with their program partner Youth Mentoring Connection, a Los Angeles based youth development organization to identify kids who participate in Boarding House programs. “Surfing with Boarding House Mentors has been nothing short of transformational for many of our young people from the inner city. Often the environment in their neighborhood has them on edge, ready to fight at all times. When they come to surf they are faced with the grandeur of the ocean something you can’t fight—they learn to flow instead. Alongside their mentors and with the help of instructors they gain a new sense of life that they can take back with them and apply in ‘the hood’ simply because we bother to show it to them”, shared Tony LoRe, President & CEO of Youth Mentoring Connection and Co-Founder of Boarding House Mentors.

Boarding House Mentors 4th summer surf season is about to get underway—and with O’Neill’s support, Boarding House Mentors is prepared to take their surfing programs statewide and to Pass the Stoke to more at-risk youth. Boarding House Mentors is currently recruiting volunteers for their summer surf season in Los Angeles. Interested volunteers can visit BHM on the web at
About O’Neill

O'Neill is the world's original surf brand. The family-owned and operated company distributes its products to 85 countries, including more than 2,000 specialty wetsuit and clothing retailers in the U.S. Consumer information is available at
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