Surfing For a Cause

By James Hamilton | Wednesday, August 5

The Big Andrew Foundation supports families in the fight against childhood cancer in coastal Maine.

There is a crew of surfers in southern Maine that, when you meet them, might inspire thoughts of southern California or even Hawaii. This has nothing to do with the size of the swell or the pedigree of the surfers themselves, but rather the brotherhood and community that they have fostered. There are a couple of groups that are central to this environment, Liquid Dreams Surf Shop, and the Knowles brothers. Ian Knowles and his brothers grew up surfing out of the Liquid Dreams shop in York Beach, and in 2007 when their close friend and surf partner Andrew Gmlech passed away from leukemia at the young age of 15 they sprang in to action. 

The first annual Big Andrew Foundation surf comp was held that summer to help raise money for families fighting the same battle that took Andrew's life. Since then, the event has grown every year and the foundation has successfully raised over $80K to go towards families in need and cancer research. This year's event included over 50 contestants and hundreds of attendees. 

The Knowles brothers along with a devoted crew of friends and volunteers managed to make this year's event the biggest yet. With the addition of the second annual classic car show on the Saturday before the contest, The Big Andrew Foundation's annual fundraiser is quickly becoming a staple in the calendar of any surfer, car enthusiast, or philanthropist in the seacoast region. 

Special thanks to the Knowles family and all of the generous sponsors who make the Big Andrew Foundation possible. #ThisOnesForAndrew

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