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Surfing Tournament Held in Honor of Former Halifax Health ICU Nurse
posted Jul 23, 2013 - 3:34:19pm
The third annual May Day Memorial Surf Classic, held on May 11 at the Flagler Beach Pier, raised more than $1,500 for the Halifax Health – Foundation. The annual surfing tournament is held in honor of the organizer’s mother who was an intensive care unit nurse for Halifax Health.
“Halifax Health – Foundation is extremely appreciative of this donation. Haley Watson, her family and others who supported this event can be assured that this donation will go towards Halifax Health’s mission of providing quality healthcare to area residents,” says Joe Petrock, executive director, Halifax Health – Foundation.
The event’s organizer, Haley Michelle Watson, began her athletic career in gymnastics. All of that changed when her mother, Dolly Watson, an intensive care unit nurse for Halifax Health, passed away from heart disease on December 29, 2006 at age 46. Her father and brother encouraged her interest in surfing and now she surfs professionally at competitions along America’s East Coast.
Watson’s new found passion, and her desire to “give back and make the world a better place,” lead her to create the May Day Memorial Surfing Classic in 2011 in memory of her mother. The event, which is held prior to Mother’s Day, is a way for Watson to remember her mother, whom she remembers fondly as, “Dolly Sue, eyes of blue, five-foot-two, worked in the ICU.” It also serves as a way to educate the community about the dangers of heart disease, especially in women.
Haley says she decided to host the event in Flagler because, “Flagler is known for producing great surfers and having an amazingly supportive surfing community.” A unique aspect of the event is that the trophies for the competition are crafted by Watson’s neighbor from the recycled wood from the Flagler Pier.
The May Day Surf Classic has grown to 90 competitors in many classes, and more than 300 attendees. With the help of local philanthropist Preston Root, more than $1,500 was raised at this year’s event, with proceeds going to the Halifax Health – Foundation. The mission of Halifax Health – Foundation is to support state-of-the-art healthcare for present and future generations in the Halifax area.
The date for the 2014 May Day Memorial Surf Classic is May 2. For more information, visit maydaymemorialsurfclassic.com.
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