Local professional surfer Bethany Hamilton will be hosting the “Life to the Fullest” youth conference Saturday at the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center in Lihue.
“The goal is just to reach out to the youth of Kauai and to give back,” said Friends of Bethany foundation president Becky Hamilton. “When we originally founded Friends of Bethany, we wanted to find a way to give back.”
“We’ve been doing events, outreach retreats and conference type things on the Mainland. We’ve been wanting to do something here for a while,” she added.
The religious conference is intended for Kauai teens ages 12-18 and is free of charge. Topics of discussion include lying, depression and abuse.
“There’s so many teens that are dealing with thoughts of suicide, depression, dealing with abuse and the temptation of getting into drugs,” Hamilton said. “It’s such a crucial age range. Our mission is to reach out to a broken world offering hope to overcome through Jesus Christ. That’s really the intention of this conference. … It is such a heavy topic. We don’t want to scare people away. There are going to be some fun activities along the way.”
Hamilton, as well as surfer Dave Hubbard and speakers Michael Ancheta, Sarah Hill and Adam Dirks will be present to share their own personal stories.
Breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. Speaking sessions, games and a photo booth will run from 9 a.m. through 2:30 p.m. Giveaway items include surfboards, bodyboards, zip line tour certificates, ukuleles and cow hide stock whips.
The name of the conference was inspired by the Bible verse John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.”
“Basically , the idea behind that is that the enemy, the thief, is basically going to use all these things in life to steal and rob — to steal from the potential of our lives,” Hamilton said. “We want to tell them that in Christ, there’s life to the fullest.”