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The legacy of the Surfers for Autism event at Pass-A-Grille

TAILYR IRVINE | Times A St. Petersburg rescue boat sprays swimmers during the 8th Annual Suncoast Surfers for Autism Beach Festival on Saturday, July 7, 2018 in St. Pete Beach, FL.
TAILYR IRVINE | Times Elijah Stanton, 10, of Palm Harbor, smiles after falling off a surf board during the 8th Annual Suncoast Surfers for Autism Beach Festival on Saturday, July 7, 2018 in St. Pete Beach, FL.

This was the fifth event out of 10 this year, according to founder Don Ryan, and registration for this event filled up in about six minutes, while other events such as Cocoa Beach this year filled within 15 seconds. The help from professionals, volunteers, and sponsors has brought therapeutic benefits to children since 2008.

TAILYR IRVINE | Times Danica Lane, 15, of Dunebin, swims into the water during the 8th Annual Suncoast Surfers for Autism Beach Festival on Saturday, July 7, 2018 in St. Pete Beach, FL. Lane, who has been surfing for six years, worked on standing on her board for the first time.
TAILYR IRVINE | Times Dalen Reid, 11, lets go of his father's hand and reaches for a volunteer during the 8th Annual Suncoast Surfers for Autism Beach Festival on Saturday, July 7, 2018 in St. Pete Beach, FL.
TAILYR IRVINE | Times The beach is busy during the 8th Annual Suncoast Surfers for Autism Beach Festival on Saturday, July 7, 2018 in St. Pete Beach, FL.

“Everyone should do it, at least one cause they are up and down the coast,” Archer said. “Anyone in Florida, there is a close one near by.”

TAILYR IRVINE | Times Divyesh Jain, 17, hugs the surf board as he rides away from his father, Vikas, and toward a volunteer during the 8th Annual Suncoast Surfers for Autism Beach Festival on Saturday, July 7, 2018 in St. Pete Beach, FL. After years on the waiting list, this is Jain's first year surfing.

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