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Surfers take part in Ampsurf’s Operation Resoration

Ampsurf, a nonprofit group based in Pismo Beach held its ninth surfing event for disabled people and veterans.

The group is calling it “Operation Restoration Number 9.”

“I felt the affect of the healing of the ocean and I had to come back for it,” Jorge Mendoza of Los Angeles said. Mendoza was among many wounded warriors and civilians who put on their wet suits Saturday and braved the cold waters of Pismo Beach.

Mendoza lost part of his leg due to an illness several years ago but said it doesn’t hold him back. He said, “Many things I should’ve done in the past I said lets do them now.”

“it’s opened up a new window for me ever since I lost my leg it’s like a whole complete new road,” Mendoza added.

Ampsurf is about helping people with disabilities and their families through adaptive surfing.

Bruce Marchese, an organizer with Ampsurf, said, “What we want to do is motivate veterans, civilians and children.”

Marchese said, “It’s a motivating climate for them, we have veterans from the middle of the country who never went swimming.”

Shannon Sweeney of Arroyo Grande surfed before getting hurt.

“When I got injured last year was riding my bike and I got hit by a car, broke my neck and now I’m a C 5 quadriplegic,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney said, “There are so many wonderful people who are here helping. Having everyone there to grab me it’s a little scary but its neat to have so many people helping out. It’s unreal to be here and to be part of it.”

With the help of volunteers many like Sweeney were able to ride waves again. **

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