Gudauskas brothers have raised $70,000 for their hometown’s lifeguards

Dane, Tanner and Patrick Gudauskas are starting a foundation called the “Positive Vibe Warriors,” hoping to give back to less fortunate.

San Clemente surfing brothers have raised $70,000 for their hometown’s lifeguards

It’s about sharing the stoke — and saving lives at the same time.

When the Gudauskas brothers Pat, Tanner and Dane aren’t chasing waves, they’re giving back. That’s just what they did through their nonprofit foundation Positive Vibe Warriors, last week, presenting a check for $10,000 to assist San Clemente’s lifeguard and junior lifeguard programs.

Through the years, the brothers have given $70,000, allowing the city to better serve beachgoers who visit the stretch of coast at Orange County’s southernmost city.

“I refer to them as our ‘community treasure,’” Greg Hulsizer, president of the San Clemente Lifeguard and Junior Guard Foundation, said of the Gudauskas family. “When you listen to them, they talk a lot about their experiences as junior lifeguards, learning about the ocean — not just surfing, but how to enjoy the ocean environment and how to give back and take care of the ocean.”

With the latest contribution, 30 kids will receive scholarships to join this year’s junior lifeguard program.

“We are funding for kids that otherwise wouldn’t be able to join the junior lifeguard program,” Hulsizer said. “If that saves one life, it’s just amazing.”

With Positive Vibe Warriors funds, lifeguards have been able to purchase high-tech equipment including ocean-observation drones, called “Pelican One,” and live cameras to help them scan the beaches at the dispatch center. Funds also helped them buy a thermal infrared camera used during twilight or nighttime rescues.

The city’s junior lifeguard program trains more than 700 youths ages 10 to 16 each summer. The lifeguard department oversees the 2.5 million people who visit the beach each year, with five full-time and 46 seasonal lifeguards. Last summer, lifeguards performed nearly 2,000 rescues, 1,150 medical aids and had about 43,000 public contacts.

In addition to lifeguard programs, Positive Vibe Warriors donations have gone toward educational field trips for cadets and the cost of entry fees for junior lifeguard competitions, and help the city host a lifeguard and junior lifeguard surf competition.

The Gudauskas brothers, along with parents Tom and Nancy, earlier this year earned the city’s “Citizens of the Year” award for their efforts.

As their main fundraisers, Positive Vibe Warriors host fun, laid-back surf contests — “Stoke-O-Ramas” — each year in conjunction with their sponsor Vans, in San Clemente, Huntington Beach and around the globe. They also have conducted several surfboard drives to give boards to communities in need, in Jamaica and South Africa.



Funds also are used for educational programs in conjunction with the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center, last year bringing pro surfer Shaun Tomson to speak about his book “The Code,” and this summer a new “Role Model Series” of three panel discussions starting in June that include: Let’s All Share the Stoke, Safety First and Girl Power in the Ocean.

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