Del Mar CA— On March 8, 2016, the Navy Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) Surf Clinic formally thanked the Del Mar City Council, Del Mar Lifeguards and Friends of the Powerhouse for supporting its therapy program for injured service people. The Thursday clinics are held at the Lifeguard Station area of the Del Mar beach.
Speaking on behalf of NMCSD, Bob Burke said, “We sincerely appreciate the long-term assistance the Del Mar Lifeguards have provided. Led by the amazing Chief Lifeguard Pat Vergne, the lifeguards have helped in every way imaginable: safety, setup, equipment, as well as being warm and welcoming to patients and volunteers for over five years.”
The clinic serves a group of injured servicemen, servicewomen, and their families year-round; providing surf instruction, coaching, paddling, boogie boarding, swimming and kayaking. The group includes newly injured, ongoing rehab patients, and returning/integrating service people who can take advantage of the equipment, coaching and camaraderie. The Balboa Warrior Athlete Program is a therapeutic program designed to restore, remediate, and rehabilitate injured, ill, or wounded service members’ level of function and independence in life. The clinic is run by volunteers from the community.
Burke emphasized, “The patients continually marvel at the generosity of the residents of Del Mar and their ongoing support.” He specifically thanked the Friends of the Powerhouse, saying, “The clinic lost longtime volunteer and surfer Henry Wagner this year to a sudden illness. An experienced waterman, he embodied all the qualities of the best volunteers: enthusiastic, positive, and always willing to go the extra mile. After Henry’s death, the Friends of the Powerhouse’s Community Liaison Jill Coughlin and Pat Vergne kindly assisted in securing a memorial tile on the walkway that the service people walk down each week toward the water.”
The Friends of the Powerhouse (FOP) http://friendsofthepowerhouse.org/ is a 501(c)(3) organization formed in 2001 by dedicated Del Mar residents sharing a passion for their community. The FOP’s inception dates back to the 1980s with efforts to support the City’s construction of Powerhouse Park and Community Center. With a mission to preserve historical and architecturally significant properties, promote social welfare, educate the public and protect the community and its landmarks in the Del Mar beach area, the FOP also supports the City’s Lifeguard Service. It raises money through events, naming opportunities and general donations.