SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - More than 200 surfers paddled out for a daunting day-long challenge Saturday inspired by young men in the community facing a far bigger one.
Surfers took to Mission beach, some as early as 6 a.m., for the 100 Wave Challenge. The event benefits the Boys to Men Mentoring Network (BTM), which connects fatherless teenage boys with positive role models and provides other resources that help them grow up to be good men. The challenge is BTM's primary source of funding.
Mentors work with more than 800 at-risk boys in 32 different schools, guiding them and helping them stay on the right track.
"The boys hear the men being honest and they feel safe," BTM co-founder Joe Sigurdson said. "They start talking about the choices they're making now and the prices they're paying."
"Week by week they make a new choice and week by week they start to get rid of their secrets and they start feeling better about themselves, and when they feel better, they do better," Sigurdson added.
Sixteen-year-old Isaac is the perfect example. His mentors inspired him to raise his grades from D's and F's to C's and B's and now he's paying it forward.
"I love to help fix things, so now I get to help boys too," Isaac said. "Also, when I need the help I can get it."
Present at the event were surfing legends Shaun Thompson, the first-ever World Surfing Champion and World Tour team member Damien Hogbood.
"It's an amazing organization that makes a massive difference to middle schools in the San Diego area," Thompson said.
Leading up to the annual surfathon, BTM held bi-weekly surf nights to give boys a chance to practice, as well as to connect with male mentors.
Scattered showers and lower temperatures are in the forecast Friday for San Diego County with snow possible in the mountains at gradually lower elevations throughout the day.
Teachers in the Solana Beach School District, who have been without contracts for months, on Thursday pushed for new contracts, but the district is not backing down.
A Ramona man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of stealing tip jars from a half-dozen Poway businesses.
People who take their pets to Del Mar's dog beach wanted to know who planted the incredible garden there.
Local first-responders who put their lives on the line to help victims of the deadly Montecito mudslides were back home Thursday.
A man accused of stabbing a woman to death near an Encanto Park made his first court appearance Thursday.
The San Diego Blood Bank Thursday solicited donations through the end of the month in honor of Father Joe Carroll, who will undergo surgery Feb. 1 due to complications with diabetes.
If you need ideas to help you keep that New Year's resolution going head to Santee for an active lifestyle expo and race this Saturday.