Virginia Beach adaptive surfing event honors mass shooting victim, brings hope

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - For the eighth year, the Life Rolls On Foundation's They Will Surf Again, an adaptive surfing event that pairs volunteers with people living with various disabilities, was held at Virginia Beach's Grommet Island Park.

This year, the surfing clinic took on a special meaning: it was dedicated to Kate Nixon, one of the 12 victims of the Virginia Beach mass shooting. Nixon was an annual volunteer with Life Rolls On.

Participants in the event say it brings the community together.

"You aren't thinking about anything else but getting that wave and nailing it," said surfer Delaney Bosworth. "Just surfing -- showing how strong you actually are, because you can do anything if you set your mind to it."

Bosworth said when she was 11 years old, she went from being a perfectly healthy cheerleader and softball player to being paralyzed within a day.

"Everything happens for a reason," she said. "There's a reason why this happened to me. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't have met all these amazing athletes and people that get to go out and bond over one common thing, which is surfing."

"It's an incredible event," said volunteer Gwynn Trinder. "We see each other for who we are instead of what we are."

More than 300 volunteers and 160 athletes participated in the event, with more than $60,000 raised.

Related: Adaptive surf clinic in Virginia Beach to benefit spinal cord injury patients

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