Come to movie Night, tomorrow, Jan 7 at 5pm at the Y! Bring food and blankets!

January 6, 2017

Holiday Party & Toy Drive

A huge thank you to everyone that came to our Holiday party in December. We donated over 200 toys to the LAPD’s toy drive. You should all be very proud of your generosity.



November 8, 2016





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November 6, 2016

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Delegate Spotlight: Luke McGarry

October 30, 2016


Luke McGarry is a junior at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks and a second year delegate in the East Valley Family YMCA. In his inaugural sophomore year, he was a member of the statewide National Issues Commission, where he spoke against a proposal regarding the federal government’s selling of confiscated marijuana in front of the general assembly. He even observed how his experiences speaking in Y&G have been so impactful in other areas of his life, as they helped to prepare him to speak in front of his entire class while (successfully!) running for Notre Dame Junior Class President.

However, Luke is making waves in his community far beyond the East Valley Family YMCA. We caught up with him in the Reading Room of the Christian Science Church on Tuesday, September 20th to hear what he has been up to.

Luke is the founder and president of Pappy Surf, a non-profit company that donates all proceeds directly to A Walk On Water, an organization dedicated to providing therapy to children with special needs through guided surf instruction. “Expert surfers ride the board with them, which lifts their spirits, and the organization really gives their parents and families a new outlet of support.”

Luke manages the company all on his own, and developed an interest in surfboard and hand-plane designing when he was able to learn how to shape his own surfboard as a birthday present two years ago. He says he applies the same principles when building a hand-plane, which is a smaller board used by “gripping a small handle with one hand and using the planing surface to lift your body out of the water, like body surfing.” Luke designed a few prototype models for his friends out of leftover wood from a boat his dad was building, layering plywood and African Mahogoany. This summer, Luke managed the company full-time, and put on many events with A Walk On Water, helping with food and providing wetsuits.

“It’s been such a good experience to learn how to manage a company, but I’m not necessarily doing it for the business experience. The point of working with A Walk On Water is to reach out to the community and do something I love to help others,” he explained. His desire to help kids with special needs began when he met some of the instructors while surfing in Malibu at First Point, who inspired him to volunteer at numerous AWOW events. After noticing his that he could only volunteer at a limited number of  annual events in California, he decided to embark on his own mission to extend this opportunity to as many kids and families as possible.

Making the hand-planes is done entirely in his own garage, and the boards are made in batches of ten, which take eight to nine hours of strenuous labor over five days to build. Luke’s unique process of obtaining the wood, designing and manufacturing the boards, and preparing them to sell was documented in great detailed in a July 25, 2016 Los Angeles Times Article.

“What I’m doing is just an indirect way to help A Walk On Water. It’s not always easy to volunteer and support these kids and the community, so I became very involved in the organization in my own way. You don’t have to buy a hand-plane to help, either. You can purchase T-shirts, volunteer, or just donate directly to this great organization.”

You can check out his company website at or make a donation to A Walk On Water at

Click on these links for more coverage of Luke’s work!–special-needs/1485338/


Written by Eli Harris

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