Join beach fun with special friends, surfers, volunteers

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Kids and adults of all ages and abilities gathered on the beach for last year's Fun in the Sun for Everyone, which includes surfing, beach games, music, fun and food. This year's event will be held June 7 at Marriott's Surf Watch on Hilton Head Island.

Pockets Full of Sunshine will host its 2019 Fun in the Sun for Everyone day from 10 a.m. to noon June 7 on the beach in front of Marriott's Surf Watch on Hilton Head Island.

Special needs members and their families of all ages and abilities are invited to join in this annual event, along with community members of all ages and abilities.

Fun in the Sun for Everyone gives special needs children and adults - and their families and friends - the opportunity to enjoy the beach in a safe and inclusive setting. Activities will include paddle boarding, boogie boarding, surfing, beach games and relaxation.

Lifeguards and volunteers will be included in the event to ensure a safe environment for all. Adult or other caregiver supervision is required for all attendees. Shuttles from the parking lot to beach will be provided. Beach access is wheel chair accessible.

In 2018, more than 250 participants attended Fun in the Sun. This event was built off 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.

"Our mission is inclusion," said Laurin Rivers, one of the founders of Pocketful of Sunshine, a nonprofit organization. "We strongly believe that everyone deserves to be an active participant in the community so we want this event to bring all of the community together, to blend people of all ages, all abilities, and let everyone have a really fun day."

Since 2014, Pockets Full of Sunshine has been working to make the Lowcountry a "sunnier place" by providing social and vocational opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities. PFS programs enhance the lives of exceptional adults by increasing exposure and interactions within our community, and promoting independence, growth, a sense of belonging, and personal pride.

Founded by Dayna Dehlinger and Laurin Rivers, partnering with Carol & R.J. Bartholomew, PFS has a goal of bridging the gap between the general population and individuals with special needs.

For more information and registration instructions, visit pocketsfullofsun.org. Registration is requested by May 26, but can be taken until the day of the event.

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