Surfing Group Donates $5,000 to Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol for LIT Program

By David Biggy | Aug 21, 2019
Photo by: David Biggy Positive Vibe Warriors Dane and Tanner Gudauskas stop by to present a check to the Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol on Aug. 15. Standing from left are Harvey Cedars Police Chief Robert Burnaford, HCBP Capt. Randy Townsend, Dane Gudauskas, HCBP LIT instructors Dan Hem and Emily Guido, Tanner Gudauskas and Vans representative Ross Howett. Sitting from left are LIT students Bridget O’Donnel, Mavve Resk and Owen Glacken.

Harvey Cedars — Through many years of surfing, Tanner and Dane Gudauskas have become intimately knowledgeable and respectful of the world’s oceans. Nowadays, they not only enjoy their time on, in and with those oceans, they seek to educate others on being safe while navigating it.

Hence, the start of Positive Vibe Warriors (PVW), their nonprofit foundation which aims to help make children around the globe keenly aware of the oceans’ power and successfully steering clear of potential dangers before they wreak havoc.

“Growing up, building positive energy through our connection to the ocean was essential to our lives,” said Dane, who along with his brother visited Long Beach Island on Aug. 15 to make a special delivery to the Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol. “As surfers, we wanted to generate a platform, created through the surfing community, to give back to the next generations of surfers and watermen and women.”

Every year, PVW operates a series of surfing events, aptly titled “Stoke-O-Rama,” to expose youngsters to the joys of surfing and an intimacy with the ocean which can last a lifetime. Through these events – four of them, strategically located throughout the U.S. – and along with private donations, PVW raises money and provides funding gifts to various organizations that teach water safety programs and ocean education.

Last week, the Gudauskas brothers met with HCBP Capt. Randy Townsend and Lifeguard-in-Training instructors Dan Hem and Emily Guido to present a check for $5,000, a gift that will be utilized to enhance the LIT program.

“Through surfing, I’ve known Dane and Tanner for a while, and Positive Vibe Warriors does some great things for communities around the world,” said Townsend, whose LIT program had 115 children this summer. “These guys are amazing and this is a big deal. It means the world to us that they recognize what we’re doing here to educate kids in ocean safety.”

Tanner Gudauskas said selecting Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol’s LIT program as one of the four beneficiaries of PVW funding was “a bit of a passion pick for us.”

“We’ve always known Randy and know what the beach patrol has been doing here for their kids in the LIT program, which continues to grow, and it’s awesome,” he said. “So, we reached out to Randy and thought it would be cool to help them out. We have like-minded goals, and one of them is to empower kids through education and safety in the ocean, so this was a perfect fit.”

Dane believes the more people educated about the ocean and being safe while out on it or in it, the better it is for the community.

“Teaching people how to use the ocean with respect is a beautiful thing,” he said. “You’re only as strong as the people who are surrounding you, so if you have people around you who are empowered by their education of the ocean they can help the community become safer as a result.”

Townsend said the $5,000 gift given by PVW likely will be used to help purchase equipment used within the LIT program, mainly a few of the more dilapidated paddleboards – those used for LITs are smaller boards compared to the 12-footers used by professional lifeguards.

“The money we use for the LIT program comes from the registration fees when the kids enroll, and a lot of that money goes toward uniforms,” he said. “Our budget for the LIT program is based only on the money we get from the applicants and various fundraisers we do through the summer, so this money will go a long way in helping us get some new equipment that better serve them.”

— David Biggy

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