The Event Will Feature Former Palisadian and World Champion Quadriplegic Surfer Jesse Billauer as Keynote Speaker
Submitted by griefHaven | Special to the Palisadian-Post
The Friends of griefHaven will host its annual “Live Your Best Life” luncheon to support griefHaven on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the Luxe Hotel on Sunset.
A Palisades-based nonprofit foundation, griefHaven provides unique and specialized support to those suffering the loss of a loved one. As part of its mission, griefHaven also serves the public in educating people about grief and clarifying how to better support those in grieving.
This year, with keynote speaker Jesse Billauer, The Friends continues its tradition of hosting brilliant and timely speakers at the Live Your Best Life luncheon.
Billauer, a popular TED speaker, is recognized as one of the most inspirational surfers on the planet. He superbly articulates how we are all here to help one another—and how this is the most important thing.
“I help you,” Billauer has said. “You help me help others. And together we change the world!”
Growing up in the Palisades, Billauer had become a top junior surfer by age 17—a month away from turning pro—when he suffered a tragic surfing accident.
In his words, “On March 25, 1996, a morning like any other Malibu morning, I became a quadriplegic. While I obviously don’t celebrate that life-changing moment, I do celebrate every day, month and year after it. Because each one, each new morning, represents another checkmark on the ‘Never Give Up’ scoreboard.”
With this positive attitude and despite doctors telling him that he would never surf again, Billauer overcame immense obstacles to become the world champion quadriplegic surfer.
At this year’s luncheon, Billauer will reflect on his journey from the heights of glory to the depths of despair, sharing how he pioneered his way to a life filled with meaning, including the creation of his foundation, Life Rolls On, which inspires and changes lives.
As Billauer put it, “I bet you already figured out my story really isn’t about surfing or paralysis. It’s about life—and living it in a big way.”
“For a guy with a spinal cord injury, Jesse has more backbone than anyone I know,” Jason Mraz, a friend of Billauer, said.
Billauer started Life Rolls On because he believes those living with paralysis deserve to feel the exhilarating freedom that surfing brings. As a nonprofit foundation, Life Rolls On takes a leading role in promoting awareness and activism for those suffering a spinal cord injury.
The Friends invite all Palisadians, as well as their friends and neighbors, to join them on Tuesday, Oct. 17, for what will be a moving and inspirational event. A dozen boutiques and a raffle for “Mystery Baskets” will add to the fun and entertainment before lunch.
Or, if unable to attend, you may wish to become a Live Your Best Life sponsor or supporter. You may purchase tickets to the luncheon and find several ways to donate to the luncheon at griefHaven.org.
About griefHaven and the Friends of griefHaven
Susan Whitmore, a Pacific Palisades resident, created griefHaven after her daughter, Erika, died from a rare cancer. When Whitmore could not find the grief support she so desperately needed, she decided to start griefHaven. Beginning with a mission to support parents and siblings grieving the death of a child, griefHaven eventually expanded its unique and specialized grief support to include all losses.
The griefHaven center, located in Palisades Village, offers support through grief groups, individual counseling, a comprehensive website, and numerous additional unique and effective tools. For the public at large, griefHaven disseminates clear, effective, up-to-date grief information through its special events and speaker programs, its community outreach, and its informative website. Additionally, griefHaven educates and collaborates with caretakers and professionals who work with the bereaved.
The Friends of griefHaven, who put on the Live Your Best Life luncheon each year, includes a core group of Palisadians who first came together to support griefHaven in its early years. Some of The Friends themselves have experienced great loss and have been helped by griefHaven.
The Friends support griefHaven’s mission with both financial and volunteer assistance. With their help, griefHaven has grown into what is now a widely recognized foundation, helping thousands each year.
If you need grief support or have other concerns or questions regarding grief, please email griefHaven at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 310-459-1789.
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