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HUGS children and their families to enjoy a day of fun in the sun

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HONOLULU – HUGS, the local non-profit helping Hawaii families with seriously ill children for more than 30 years, will enjoy a fun-filled day of sun and surf at the annual Surf4HUGS at Kuhio beach on Saturday, August 2 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Local family, the Thomases – Brett, Dee and their children Torrey and Leila – created Surf4HUGS when Torrey and Leila came up with the idea of combining sun, play and exercise with the HUGS mission of caring for seriously ill children and their families.

“My wife and I started Surf4HUGS as a way to teach our children the value of giving back,” said Brett Thomas. “And in a way, this event has given back to our family – 10 years of beautiful memories, forming bonds with HUGS families and seeing our community come together every year for this wonderful local non-profit that takes care of Hawaii families.”

HUGS children and their families will get to surf, canoe, and enjoy other fun beach activities and a picnic lunch.

“Surf4HUGS is a cathartic, fun and carefree experience that our families look forward to every year,” said Marty Oliphant, MSW, HUGS Director of Programs. “Surf4HUGS supports our mission of addressing each families’ emotional, social, physical and financial needs when caring for a seriously ill child. It’s people like the Thomases, along with businesses and organizations that support HUGS and have made it possible for us to have served the 16,000 families in Hawaii to date.”

Surf4HUGS is still accepting donations for HUGS at Donations can also be made directly to HUGS at

For more than 30 years, HUGS has been helping families preserve their quality of life through programs addressing emotional, social, physical and financial needs of families it serves. HUGS receives no state or federal funding and relies on donations made by the community.  Services are provided free of charge statewide to families with a seriously ill child, ages birth to 21 years.


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