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University of South Florida

Weekend preview: Surfing magic, good FAT and a good Rat

Weekend preview: Surfing magic, good FAT and a good Rat

This weekend’s Surfers for Autism Beach Festival is South Florida at its most authentic and cliché-defying best, a free three-day gathering of music, food trucks and fellowship made special by moments of transcendent joy, watching children and young adults with autism renew their spiritual relationship with the waves.

Volunteers for the nonprofit Surfers for Autism say the experience of guiding the surfers in the water cannot be put into words, but one that is used a lot is “magical.”

“If you have a heart, there’s no way to not be moved by it,” volunteer Dave Rossman says. “To witness a child 6 or 7 years old who’s been nonverbal their whole lives, jump off a board...

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