We were totally overwhelmed by the response to our surfboard contest! Thank you all for the truly wonderful entries and a special thanks to our friends at Carve Designs and Entropy Surfboards for providing the grand prize that inspired all of the stoke!
We received 1,465 entries (including one that was received via mail… and was LAMINATED!). We were overcome with inspiration and hope by the stories you told. On more than one occasion, we wondered if we could somehow get more surfboards to give away – and believe us, if we could, we would.
In the end, we had to choose just three. Here are our winners along with 5 honorable mentions with stories that we felt deserved to be shared with all of you. We hope you are as touched and inspired by these folks as we are.
the folks at title nine
The Lucky Ladies
|T9 Surfboard||Lisa Pratt Ward||Johnson City, TN|
|$100 Gift Card + Team T9 Membership||Sandy Highland||Klamath Falls, OR|
|Team T9 Membership||Donna Blue||Kingstowne, VA|
Grand Prize Winner – Lisa Pratt Ward
I don’t deserve the surfboard, but my friend and the most amazing mother of 2, Taeryn, really does. She lives on the Oregon coast and loves to run, swim and surf. She always encourages her kids to play outside too (even though it rains a lot). Taeryn is the quintessential “Title 9” mom. Three months ago, Taeryn’s 5 year old daughter passed away from cancer. Through it all, Taeryn has been so brave, so positive, so strong. I know a surfboard won’t bring back her daughter, but it might give Taeryn a few moments of solace and peace.
2nd place runner-up – Sandy Highland
I love the ocean, especially the crashing of the waves and the smell of the salty air. I am a 60 year old grandmother of twelve, three of whom are teenage boys who surf and skim board all the time. I can’t keep up very well because all I have is an old foamy board, and I grub all the time, but I always try my best! My oldest grandson says I’m a “kook!” With a new title 9 board I could show them that I am a hip grandma and that they better watch out, Surfs up!!
3rd place runner-up – Donna Blue
I found the athlete in me — however, later in life. I was morbidly obese for most of my adult life — weighing in at 330 lbs. I even purchased a handicap adaptable condo in Alexandria, VA for it was just too difficult to walk up steps. One day I woke up and was 48 years old and I was depressed. I looked at what I had done to my body. I couldn’t blame anyone else — God and genetics blessed me with health and I was destroying what was given to me. My Mother was visitng (80 then — 92 now) and we had a long talk about life and aging. I felt inspired and I finally took ownership of my weight/health problem. The next day I started my very own improvement program and after two years I had lost 170 pounds. I exercised each and every day for one hour — no excuses and the results have been just overwhelming. While I never thought of myself of active or athletic and would have never guessed that I would enjoy sweating — the new me has proven to be quite the competitor. I am now 60 (just a few months away)
Some more of our top picks!
I want to win this surfboard for my sister Carrie, my hero. Carrie had an accident with a borrowed surf board that knocked out teeth and scared her face. My beautiful sister kept her spirits up and love for surfing even after many months of surgery and healing. I want Carrie, a teacher and the mother of three young children, to have her own board (not borrowed) to take time for herself in the waters of Hawaii where she lives. But knowing Carrie, she will also use the board to show her two daughters and son the joys of surfing.
– Jennifer Olsson
My wife would be a great candidate for the board. As a former lifeguard and occassional surfer, she traded in that lifestyle to be an “Uber-Mom.” As a home health care nurse and mother of two, she rarely thinks of herself. Our son, who is autistic has twice gone to a surf camp for autistic children, however, surfboard money, instead goes to therapists for our son. A surfboard would provide my wife with the opportunity to recapture her youth, and more importantly an opportunity for her to capture his attention.
-Jason Budd (husband)
Dear Title Nine Folks: A super cool surf board like this would be great for women, and girls who would not have an opportunity to ever experience the thrill of this board, the water, waves, wind, and the power of becoming body, mind and heart. I live on a Lake Michigan town, where surfing in alive and well. My work as a at-risk teacher, has led me to teach school during the school year and start a small women’s, and girls outdoor adventure business, in the summer months. The goal of the business is to reach women and children who want to go outside, but to help those who would not have oppurtunities to have outdoor adventure experiences. This board would help many ladies, and girls become conifdent about themselves, learn how to become with natural elements, and learn about problem solving skills!
– Laura Mitchell
Freedom, Strength, Beauty There was no girls team; I wanted to run. Dad wasn’t happy, “Girls play tennis, they don’t run.” The guys and coach said yes. We won the 1972-1973 state track meet, I was the only girl; then came Title 9. Thirty-eight years later I still compete but now beside thousands of strong, beautiful women who run, cycle, surf, box, lift, throw, vault, climb, and kick. There’s a granddaughter on the way, this “sweet ride” will be hers. A symbol that passes along the value of Title 9; the freedom to compete and be strong and beautiful.
– Mary Jane Tapen
18, a senior in high school counting down the 7 days I have left until I enter the world. A year ago in Rye Nh, I learned to surf as my Senior project/thesis. Up on the first wave and have fallen head over heels for the ocean, up at 5 am everyday of the summer since (only I don’t have my own board I bum one off friends) I live at the base of a Nh mountain where I snowboard in the winter, the only girl on the local shred team and love every moment of it. (not trying to play the sympathy card) but feburary,I was diagnosed with spinal fractures, as a result of spinal cancer. I can only describe it as heartbreak.Knowing this mite be my last summer of adventure, for the rest of my life, is a total buzz kill. I’m awaiting a spinal fusion surgery to keep me walking. I want to become an Environmental scientist,study abroad in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and save green sea turtles. Cancer sucks,but the ocean is awesome. Its a beautiful thing to lay on a surf board of your own,name it and paddle though the rough to the calm together. I cant promise the board and I would make it to study abroad and save turtles, but the two of us would enjoy this summer and wouldn’t go a healthy day with out seeing the ocean.
– Kayla Parcells