A plea for a young boy and his late father’s missing surfboard has gone viral on Facebook, astonishing his family and giving them hope that it might be returned.
The longboard was left behind after a celebration of life for Todd Everett, a surfer, runner and Pismo Beach resident who worked in the wine industry. He died Feb. 20, a little more than two years after he was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, said his sister-in-law, Julie Olson of Santa Clarita.
His widow, Jennifer Everett, held a memorial service on March 30, the day after Todd Everett would have turned 45 years old. A group of about 200 people met on the beach in Pismo Beach, in front of the Sandcastle Inn.
Some attendees brought their boards and paddled out into the ocean in their friend’s memory. Todd Everett’s board was brought to the beach as well, but in the confusion and due to “a little miscommunication,” it was left behind, Olson said.
Olson learned from her sister what had happened on Tuesday and immediately wanted to help. “I said, ‘I am making this thing go viral on Facebook,’” Olson recalled Wednesday.
She put together a photo of her sister and the couple’s 6-year-old son, Oliver, along with a drawing of the longboard.
“The surfboard is priceless to us and especially to his son,” she wrote. “We know someone had to have picked it up but we cannot locate it.”
The board has a single fin and is brown with a yellow/gold trim, Olson wrote. She asked people to share the photo and story, and left an email address — firstname.lastname@example.org — for people to contact.
By the time she went to bed Tuesday, more than 7,000 people had shared the photo. By Wednesday afternoon, more than 15,000 had shared it, and Olson started receiving messages from people around the world wanting to help or provide support.
Someone from Facebook also called and asked if the photo could be used as a featured story, Olson said, meaning even more people are likely to see it. The photo was reposted on Facebook Stories, which has nearly 400,000 “likes.”
“We’ve had so many emails — a lot of support,” Olson said Wednesday. “But no leads yet.”
For updates on the missing surfboard, follow Julie Olson on Twitter: @Ecojlo.