Published: Sep. 4, 2015 at 3:13 PM HST
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Local family, the Thomas' – Brett, Dee and their children Torrey and Leila – created Surf4HUGS when Torrey and Leila used their personal love for the ocean and sun filled days of family fun to came up with the idea of combining sun, play and exercise with the HUGS mission of caring for seriously ill children and their families.

Surf4HUGS, an all-volunteer effort to allows children with life-threatening diseases a break from the burdens of their medical concerns. Their goal is to give the kids a chance to enjoy beach activities like surf lessons, canoe rides, jet skiing, and visiting fun ocean-related venues like the aquarium, complimented by event shirts, photos, food and more!

Smiles, hugs and a child's first wave standing up - there is nothing better than seeing a child, who has been stricken by a life-threatening disease, and their family enjoying a carefree day at the beach. All worries are cast aside as the family enjoys a much-needed day of good fun, family, and friends.

Torrey and Leila are now grown and live off island, however for the first time in over 5 years they will both be back to take part in Surf4HUGS on Sept. 5th at 8 a.m. at Kuhio Beach in Waikiki.

For more information about HUGS, visit or

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