[Ride a Wave - Creating Special Days for Kids With Special Needs]
  Who We Are
Based in Santa Cruz, CA, Ride a Wave is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Tax ID 26-1735710).

The 100% volunteer run organization has no paid positions and was founded in 1998 by former tandem surfing champion and lifeguard, Danny Cortazzo, a full-time firefighter and paramedic. Cortazzo is joined by over 300 active community volunteers each season ranging from grade school children to senior citizens. RAW volunteers include firefighters, doctors, nurses, EMTs, students, lifeguards, tech and business professionals, marine scientists, contractors, real estate agents, pro surfers, authors, actors, and more.

In recognition for his commitment to Ride a Wave and the outstanding community service it provides, Cortazzo was: 
  • selected 2003 Firefighter of the Year by the Santa Clara City Firefighters
  • named a Community Hero by the United Way of Santa Cruz County 
    in 2004 
  • honored with a prestigious Jefferson Award by the San Francisco Chronicle in June 2006 
  • recognized as a Team Clif Hot Seat Athlete in 2003
[Ride a Wave Founder Danny Cortazzo]
[San Francisco Chronicle Jefferson Award - 2006] [Team Clif Hot Seat Athlete - 2003] [United Way Community Hero Award - 2004]

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