Surfer Kelly Kingston's nonprofit Share the Stoke Foundation began, she says, as a "fluke," when a surfboard she tried to hawk on Craigslist wouldn't sell. It was Christmastime five years ago, so she decided to donate the board to the child who wrote the most-persuasive note saying why they deserved it.
"I have been deemed the surfing Santa, it's true. It's silly," says the Lake Worth woman, 36, with a laugh. "But all I want to do is give boards to disadvantaged kids who are passionate about the sport."
To that aim, at least, Kingston's nonprofit will host the fundraiser 10 Countries/10 Boards on Wednesday night at LongBoards Restaurant in West Palm Beach, the proceeds of which will head to children in Nuqui, Colombia, and to those on the small island of Isla Fuerte, off Colombia's central coast. She says the surfboard brand Firewire has already donated 100 boards valued at $650 apiece to the cause, so the money pays for transporting 10 boards to both locations, and for funding a planned beach cleanup and barbecue on Feb. 17.
"These are folks that reached out to us and said, 'We have a surfing community out here, but the kids are riding terrible boards,' " says Kingston, who regularly surfs near the Lake Worth pier and has given away 115 boards."I want to change that all over the world."
The 10 Countries/10 Boards fundraiser runs 6-8 p.m. at LongBoards Restaurant, 519 N. Clematis St., IN West Palm Beach. $15 buys free appetizers, live music from South Side Dub and access to $2 wells, drafts and wine. Call 561-833-4660 or like LongBoards Restaurant on Facebook.