Years ago we dreamed up an event to raise money for the kids in our community who needed some love. We called it the Switchfoot Bro-Am – a surf contest and a concert on the beach to celebrate and empower the next generation. More than a decade later the Bro-Am has raised more than a million dollars for homeless kids and at-risk youth, supporting some incredible organizations in our hometown.
It’s kind of hard to believe how far the Bro-Am has come. People fly in from all around the world to celebrate the event with us. Last year there were 18,000 people on the beach! Even though the event has grown so much, the Bro-Am is still built on same simple idea: using surfing and music to give back to the next generation. It’s a day where I see my hometown shine brightest, people from all walks of life coming together for a worthy cause. The Bro-Am is a big hug for the entire community- the folks who have some extra money giving to some kids in need.
My favorite Bro-Am moment is hard to choose, so many amazing memories come to mind. One moment that I’ll never forget was when I got the chance to work alongside of the Junior Seau Foundation’s Adaptive Surf Program, teaching some challenged athletes how to surf. I was partnered up with a determined, young girl named Breezy. Even though Breezy only had one leg, she had more courage than anyone on the beach. Her tenacity inspired us all. Not only an amazing athlete, Breezy is an incredible musician as well. She sang with us at the Benefit Party, and we also got the chance to bring her up onstage with us later that year at a sold out show in San Francisco.
These are beautiful moments that remind me of what it means to be alive. What it means to be human. They remind me of how grateful I am to be a part this incredible community. That’s the beauty of the Bro-Am – anything can happen! I can’t wait to see what happens this year. – Jon