I wanted to take a moment and wish friends, family, fraternity brothers, partners, clients, men and women serving our country and everyone out there a Happy Thanksgiving. Two years ago, I almost lost my life in a near drowning event at Salt Creek on Thanksgiving Day. Nature dropped a serious lesson on me about my own mortality. Tomorrow is never a guarantee, and something as unpredictable as a set of large waves beating me senseless is a reminder that there are some things I can’t perfectly control.
I left that near death situation a little wiser with an extra helping of motivation. I really do want to impact the world and make my time here count. There are a lot of really disturbing things going on out there in the world around us, and although there is little I can do to change those things, I do feel like I can make small but meaningful differences in the lives of people that are close to me or in my sphere of influence. They could be family members, friends or complete strangers asking for help. Reminding people that they are cared for goes a very long way even if the kind gesture is small. Never underestimate the power of kindness and giving to lift people up when they need it most. I have to remind myself at times to step outside of my own crazy world to remember this and it is an internal dialogue that I will keep active so that I never forget that people need help.
The Aliso Beach website is a labor of love and I am incredibly humbled by the appreciation and encouragement the website has received from people. The South Laguna region of beaches including Aliso is very special to me. People in and out of the community have found the information on the site useful and have reached out with questions. I am proud to say that every question and/or request for information have been promptly returned, and as a result of the visibility online, I have be given some opportunities to really help some people. I have also been blessed with the opportunity to recognized people in the beach community that have helped others. It has been an absolute joy to extend the Aliso Beach community through the website.
As the days in 2015 dwindle towards the New Year, the need to do what I said I would do when I started the website again is gnawing at me a bit. What I said was that I would add art to the website and sell with a split of profits between the artist and a recognized 5013c non-profit charitable organization benefiting Aliso Beach. By January 1st, 2016, the e-commerce section of this website will have contributing artists and products that may be purchased online that benefit artists and a charity whose work benefits this beach. I view this as an amazing opportunity to support charity and artists. If you are an artist or photographer with work influenced by or featuring Aliso Beach, let’s talk. My collaborative vision for this website requires involvement from members of the community who want to help make a difference. When the vision comes together perfectly, I will consider ways to make sure there is a transfer of ownership of this website to someone, some organization or some collaborative group of people who will carry this torch on forever. As we have all seen, the work to preserve our beaches and valuable marine life is one with no finish line. Aliso Beach has plenty of issues with runoff from the creek damaging water quality and putting the health of beach goers, recreational water enthusiasts and marine life at risk. In addition to being a great source of information on Aliso Beach, it is a goal to help charities fighting for good water quality and marine preservation with funding generated through the sale of art. The site is getting closer to realizing this desire to help and artists and charities benefiting Aliso Beach.
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do this work and offer others the opportunity to help. Together we can make a huge difference in beach community of the ocean playground we love. The website is always looking for pictures, stories, writers, artists and anyone else with an idea for how to collaborate in a meaningful way that enhances the impact we have on both creative people getting their message out about their art and charities that fight for Aliso Beach. It’s fun and a great way to give back!
Please be encouraged to bring your ideas for the website to the team here at Aliso Beach. The goal is to involve as many people that want to make a difference in the lives of artists while benefiting a marine water conservation minded charity. Come join us! We can do great things together with this website.
Photo Credit: Scotty Carter