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In memory of Brad

LIHUE — The mission may seem familiar, but the motivation behind it is deeply personal.

On Saturday, volunteers from the newly formed B-Rad Foundation will join Surfrider Kauai in a 9 a.m. Kealia Beach cleanup, the fourth month in a row the two organizations have united to keep Kauai’s oceanfronts healthy and spotless.

“It’s all just about people getting together to do projects that matter,” said Matt Parker, B-Rad Foundation co-founder. “That’s been one of our mottoes. Doing things that matter.”

But the new group is also focused on improving personal health as well as the environment in the name of Matt’s brother, Brad Parker, an adventurous, athletic land steward and former Kauai resident who died in rock climbing accident in Yosemite National Park in August at the age of 36.

The group’s goal is to keep the memory of Brad alive while focusing on health, nutrition, sustainable living and giving back — all the things Brad cared about.

“Overall, it’s been really amazing,” said Matt on the foundation the family started, which has helped them battle through grief by putting their energy toward making a positive impact. “It feels like we’re making a difference and we’re doing it in Brad’s honor.”

The Foundation has a chapter in Northern California, where Brad grew up and lived after he moved away from Kauai after four years on island in 2008, and a Kauai branch.

“It’s almost been therapy,” Matt added. “Not only can we honor Brad, but we can keep his spirit alive.”

Since teaming with Surfrider — which has made a name for itself cleaning beaches over the years — the groups have hauled out 12,000 pounds of trash in the last four months, a majority of which is being recycled.

Parents Gayle and Bill, Matt and his wife Tiara Parker, all of Wailua, and Brad’s girlfriend, Janiee Dial, who is now executive director in Northern California, started the new nonprofit around eight months ago. It has about 50 members, though membership isn’t required.

“They’ve been coming out in numbers,” said Barbara Wiedner, Surfrider Kauai vice chair on the B-Rad Foundation’s help cleaning. “It’s been a wonderful partnership.”

The B-Rad Foundation will also begin programs that will be founded on three strong pillars: health, adventure and stewardship. They hope to pack all three lessons into monthlong programs culminating at the end with an overnight camping excursion.

Dates to get it all on board are still being worked out with major headway expected in the next six months.

In the meantime, the group will meet under a blue B-Rad banner Saturday to clean the beach.

“I think he’d be really proud of us,” Matt said of the legacy the family is leaving. “I know he’s really proud of us.”

Info: b-radfoundation.org or (808) 651-3970.

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