about-cover

All About Best Day

Mission

Best Day Foundation enables children and young adults with special needs to build confidence and self-esteem through adventure activities which stretch their limits, expand their true potential, reinforce their achievement, & connect them with diverse populations in their community.

Special needs supported;

  • Autism
  • Blindness
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Down syndrome
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Other injury, illness or developmental challenges

Current activities include;

  • Tandem surfing
  • Body boarding
  • Kayaking
  • SUP (stand up paddling)
  • Outrigger canoeing
  • Beach activities
  • Snow sports

Strategy

We achieve this by empowering communities across the country to offer special days at the beach and snow to children with special needs. Best Day provides back-end services, support, training, and business resources to ensure that safe, self-sufficient programs are created. The program is funded through donations, grants and sponsorships.

Best Day currently has chapters serving;

  • Chesapeake Bay Virginia and Northern North Carolina
  • Florida
  • New Jersey
  • Los Angeles county California
  • Orange county, California
  • San Diego, county, California
  • Santa Barbara county, California
  • Ventura county, California

History

Best Day is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit (Tax-ID 26-2223078) founded in March 2008 in Santa Cruz, CA by Brooks Lambert and Max Montgomery, two long-time Ride a Wave volunteers who wished to share a similar program with other communities.

Headquarters Team

  • Brooks Lambert
    Brooks Lambert Founder

    Three of Brooks’ passions unite at Best Day Foundation; children, adventure sports, and creating thriving enterprises.

  • Wallace Whittier
    Wallace Whittier Board President

    I am involved in Best Day because I love working with committed people to provide an adventurous experience for kids who otherwise might not be able to experience what I love the most, the ocean.

  • Nancy Pedersen
    Nancy Pedersen Board Member, Co-Chairperson

    Nancy fell in love with Best Day and its ability to bring so many varying members of the community together to create magic on the beach.

  • Girard Andrew Tabañag
    Girard Andrew Tabañag Project & Systems Manager

    I enjoy helping others get things done and achieve their goals.

    It melts my heart when I see videos and photos of kids enjoying their Best Day and knowing that I played a small part in making that happen.

  • Lauren Dunning
    Lauren Dunning Compliance Coordinator

    Lauren is so happy to be able to combine her passion for the ocean and for serving others by being a part of the Best Day team.

  • Shannon McMahon
    Shannon McMahon Social Media Coordinator

    Shannon combines her love for children and the ocean as a volunteer and leading Best Day’s social media programs

New Jersey Team

  • Alexis Downham
    Alexis Downham Co-Chairperson

    Passion, enthusiasm and pure joy – that’s what Best Day means to me

  • Lake Downham
    Lake Downham Co-chairperson

    Lake is a waterman, rescue & survival expert,  and passionate for sharing the joy of the ocean.  The thrill he gets from taking our campers surfing is the single most rewarding aspect of his life.

  • John & Tricia Henkes
    John & Tricia Henkes Participant & Water Teams Coordinators

    Were hooked volunteering as a family at the very first Best Day events. Their son Brodie enjoys volunteering because he likes making the day feel like its the Super Bowl or Olympics for the kids we serve.

  • KC Yoon
    KC Yoon Media Coordinator

    “To me Best Day is about serving others and putting smiles on faces! Spending the day at the beach with friends new and old is the cherry on top!”

  • Suzanne Carbone
    Suzanne Carbone Community Awareness Coordinator

    “The joy and enthusiasm I feel watching these kids and their families enjoy their “best day” is so rewarding!”

  • Paul Podesla
    Paul Podesla Fundraising Coordinator

    “Best Day is a blessing for all involved. Taking in the smiles from the kids and their families on the beach is indescribable, a day that truly lives up to its name!”

Orange County CA Team

  • Mike Prestridge
    Mike Prestridge Co-Chairperson

    Mike’s first experience as a volunteer was literally a “Best Day” in his life as he was able to share his love for the ocean and beach with children who might not otherwise ever have that opportunity.

  • Kevin Carter
    Kevin Carter Co-Chairperson

    Proud and honored to work with an enthusiastic, loving and caring group of Best Day volunteers to share our love of the ocean with children of all abilities.

  • Ali Dunbar
    Ali Dunbar Volunteer Coordinator

    Surfing, kids, and fun, what else do you need?

  • Chris Martin
    Chris Martin Co-Chairperson

    Chris is very excited to be a part of such an amazing foundation and the enjoyment he gets from his involvement with the Best Day kids is second to none.

  • Dennis Morrow
    Dennis Morrow Fund-raiser/Team Surfer

    Dennis is a water man, surfing, sailing, who love helping children enjoy the water and admits he’s in it for the giggles and smiles.

Santa Barbara CA Team

  • Heather Smith
    Heather Smith Co-Chairperson
    Heather enjoys bringing smiles and ocean experiences to both the Best Day participants and the wonderful volunteers who make the events so successful.
  • Jen Gamez-Sparrow
    Jen Gamez-Sparrow Chapter Co-Chairperson

    Sharing my love of the ocean with kids who may not have the same opportunities that I do  brings me great joy.

  • Robin Elliott
    Robin Elliott Chapter Team Member

    Robin combines her appreciation of the outdoors with her goal of helping children with special needs to thrive by sharing her time and skills with Best Day.

  • Mike Wathen
    Mike Wathen Water Teams Leader

    Nothing beats a good day at the beach! Sharing riding a wave is my favorite part of Best Day Foundation.

  • Shannon McMahon
    Shannon McMahon Social Media Coordinator

    Shannon combines her love for children and the ocean as a volunteer and leading Best Day’s social media programs

Ventura CA Team

  • Nancy Pedersen
    Nancy Pedersen Board Member, Co-Chairperson

    Nancy fell in love with Best Day and its ability to bring so many varying members of the community together to create magic on the beach.

  • Dan Brill
    Dan Brill Co-Chairperson

    Dan is a former competitive surfer and extreme athlete and enjoys sharing his passion and skills at Best Day.

  • Mike McElvaney
    Mike McElvaney Safety Coordinator

    There is no greater reward than seeing the face of a kid after getting their first wave on a surfboard.  That and at the end of the day, asking the same kid if they got any good rides.  The look of pride and stoke is priceless.

  • Robin Elliott
    Robin Elliott Chapter Team Member

    Robin combines her appreciation of the outdoors with her goal of helping children with special needs to thrive by sharing her time and skills with Best Day.

Florida Team

  • Jaime Vanacore
    Jaime Vanacore Co-Chairperson

    Stoked for the opportunity to share my love for the ocean with the children in South Florida. Let’s get caught in the moment.

  • Paul Vanacore
    Paul Vanacore Co-Chairperson

    A little bit of love goes a long way

  • Eric Weitkamp
    Eric Weitkamp Fund-raising/Sponsor Coordinator

    I spend most of my days working on me to better my life… this an
    opportunity to do the same for someone else’s. I’m in!

  • Lindsay Moore
    Lindsay Moore Participant Coordinator

    Bringing smiles to others is what life is all about.

  • Tom Crownover
    Tom Crownover Volunteer Coordinator

    In a world filled with worthy causes, I decided that the best way to make an impact would be to combine my passion for adventure with the organization that cast the widest net of opportunity.

  • James Moore
    James Moore Water Safety Coordinator

    The ocean and helping people, two things that I am passionate about.

  • Daniella Anderson
    Daniella Anderson Beach Safety Coordinator

    Surfing gives me a feeling that I’ve never experienced in any other sports. Can’t wait to spread the love.

  • Tatsu Evans
    Tatsu Evans Media/Social Media Coordinator

    Stoked to get some kids out, and experience the magnificence of the ocean.

  • Sam Knoeppel
    Sam Knoeppel Water Team Coordinator

    Together, we can have the Best Day ever!

San Diego County CA Team

  • Rachel Amato
    Rachel Amato Chapter Co-Chairperson

    I’m thrilled to be part of Best Day because I cannot think of a better way of spending my time than helping bring more joy to children.

  • David Moll
    David Moll Volunteer Coordinator

    Became involved with Best Day after seeing it positively affect a young sibling. Stoked to bring that same magic to San Diego!

  • Kerry Murphy
    Kerry Murphy Community Awareness Coordinator

    Seeing the smile on a child’s face after their first wave, and telling  them “You’re a Surfer Now” – well, I get choked up just  thinking about that, knowing we might be helping that child have their “Best Day”!

Chesapeake Bay Team

  • Nate McCreary
    Nate McCreary Fund-raising Coordinator

    “Giving children a meaningful experience is what Best Day does, but lifting the hearts of the volunteers and family is really what Best Day is all about.”

  • Tracy McCreary
    Tracy McCreary Chapter Co-Chairperson & Marketing Coordinator

    “Best Day isn’t an event, it’s and experience — for the children, their families and the volunteers. It’s smiles, it’s laughter, it’s connections. It IS the Best Day!”

  • Malia Peer
    Malia Peer Media Coordinator

    “So excited to join the Best Day team and be apart of an amazing event that brings the community together for the best day ever!”

  • Mark Peer
    Mark Peer Media Coordinator

    “Best Day provides children with the purest form of stoke in the world”

  • Samantha “Sam” Barham
    Samantha “Sam” Barham Participant Coordinator

    “Best Day means coming together as one for the love of water”

  • Suzanne Carbone
    Suzanne Carbone Community Awareness Coordinator

    “The joy and enthusiasm I feel watching these kids and their families enjoy their “best day” is so rewarding!”

  • Alexis Downham
    Alexis Downham Co-Chairperson

    Passion, enthusiasm and pure joy – that’s what Best Day means to me

 Los Angeles Team

  • Kim Prichard-Landa
    Kim Prichard-Landa Marketing Coordinator

    Beach + Kids Smiling = Amazing opportunity to be part of the Best Day Foundation

  • Gary Brutsch
    Gary Brutsch Fund Raising Coordinator

    Huntington Beach, circa 1953. Gary borrows a friends’ Balsa Wood Surfboard for the first time, and knows that his life will never be the same. Gary is proud to be part of Best Day and what it represents.

  • Shanden Brutsch
    Shanden Brutsch Chapter Chairperson

    Before she could walk, Shanden was swimming in the ocean. From an early age she identified the beach and the water as her place of peace and freedom. She is honored to be part of Best Day and share the freedom it offers with children in Los Angeles.

Contact Us

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