COCOA, Fla. — The biggest Surfing Santa crowd in the nation went virtual this year due to the pandemic. Surfing Santa Founder George Trosset says it all started 11 years ago with his family on Cocoa Beach.

What You Need To Know

  • Surfing Santa taking place virtually this year, due to COVID-19

  • Expected to raise between $15,000 and $20,000

  • Event raises money for surf museum and Grind for Life

Surfing Santas is all about spreading the holiday cheer and not COVID-19, that's why they decided to go virtual this year, while still fundraising and encouraging people to post their Surfing Santa pics on social media. Trosset says profits from Surfing Santas memorabilia goes towards the non-profits.

“There's at least a dozen surfing Santas in the water, I saw some surfers at the pier today and a couple of the streets I stopped at I saw some surfing Santas,” Trosset says. “It helps the surf museum and Grind for Life”

Grind For Life Founder Mike Rogers is a non-profit that helps cancer patients with travel and lodging while getting treatment.

“Eight thousand dollars last year raised with Surfing Santas and that’s a big chunk of money,” Rogers says.

Last year’s event attracted about 600 surfing Santas and 8,000 spectators, on average they raised about $50,000.

Trosset explained that although this year the event went virtual their fundraising efforts continue but are disappointed they are not projected to make as much as they did last year.

“This year we bought half as many shirts so we are hoping to raise about $15,000 and the max is $20,000,” he added.

Rogers said every bit helps and is grateful for the support, even $100 can help someone in need.

“Anything is better than nothing , even a few hundred will help someone get their cancer treatment,” Rogers added.

The virtual event had costume contest, aerial surfing and people were able to vote for their favorite online where the winners won cash prizes.