Every December since 1985, John Fulton (the Surfing Santa) has been raising awareness of homelessness by surfing the icy waters of the Niagara River. Fulton makes the frigid mile long journey on a wind surfer or stand-up paddleboard clad in a specialized cold water “Santa” drysuit. Currently, the weather in Niagara Falls on December 23rd, 2014 is showing 5°c and a 30% chance of showers, however Santa will surf regardless of snow, hail, sleet, rain or shine on this date at 11:00 a.m from Mather Arch in Fort Erie.
Directions to Mather Arch:
Address: 11 Niagara Parkway, Fort Erie
From the QEW heading towards the Peace Bridge, take the last exit “Central Avenue” and turn right. From Buffalo, go across the Peace Bridge and take “Central Avenue” exit (right under the Central Avenue overpass).
Surfing Santa will begin his voyage from Mather Arch in Fort Erie, on to Buffalo, and return, escorted by U.S. Border Patrol and the Niagara Parks Police.
John Fulton has been made famous by major news sites like CNN and the Globe and Mail. Surfing Santa uses his media exposure to ask the world to find a shelter, a homeless person, a family in need or any organization helping the less fortunate and to make a donation.
After speaking to many shelters, the most commonly needed piece of clothing (and most overlooked) is a warm pair of socks. It is because of this, that the Surfing Santa #SocksForSanta campaign was started. It is an event that collects new socks and underwear for the less fortunate in Niagara. Undergarments are not traditionally a donated used clothing item for reasons of hygiene, therefore they are the number one clothing item in demand. Shelters are in dire need of warm socks and underwear year round, but especially during this cold, harsh winter season.
You can bring new pairs of socks, underwear, gift cards, or cash donations down to Mather Arch on the Niagara Parkway in Fort Erie December 23, 2014 between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm for the Surfing Santa “Out Of The Cold Niagara” 30th annual Niagara River Crossing — and get your Picture taken with Surfing Santa!
Watch this interview by John Fulton (also owner of Fulton Fitness in St.Catharines) as he speaks about the Surfing Santa event and what it means to him:
Surfing Santa Schedule of Events:
9:00 am Surfing Santa visits Table Rock at Niagara Falls with CHCH TV.
10:30 am Santa lifts off from Niagara Helicopters for trip past Falls down river to Fort Erie
11:00 am Surfing arrives via Niagara Helicopters for the Mather Park Media event and pose for pictures with Santa (BYOSS) Bring your own Santa suit.
12:30 pm Down river launch and crossing to USA from break wall south of Peace Bridge.
1:30 pm Arrive Bowen Rd. Park
To donate online and for more information on this event please go to www.surfingsanta.com