Surfers gather in Long Beach for 'Paddle For Peace' event in support of Ukraine

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- In a show of support and solidarity for Ukraine, local surfers "paddled for peace" in Long Beach over the weekend.

"People get fatigued hearing the news day in and day out. They start to tune out," said Paddle For Peace organizer James Kao. "So, my goal is really to continue to keep this issue forefront and center, really show people how important it is that we support Ukraine. and support democracy."

Wearing yellow and blue in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, supporters stood together to form a peace symbol in the sand.

They also posted messages, one of which read, "We stand with you Ukraine."

Speakers with ties to the besieged country let supporters know what they could do to help.

Anna Lugo spoke about her daily check-in on her social media app, which lets her know when her family is safe or under a missile strike warning.

"I have two nephews, they just escaped Kharkiv," Lugo said. "One is eight and the second is 11-years-old, and I have a video of them. They're playing and reading books inside the shelter."

She and others are hoping that as Americans move about their daily lives, they will continue to remember their people.

"We just can't wait for this news to be over and for good news to start," said Yevegeniya Pojhylko.

With the words of John Lennon's peace anthem "Imagine" playing, 20 doves were released. Then it was time to hit the water as attendees paddled out.

A message of hope for the people of Ukraine that they are not alone in their darkest hour.

For other ways to help Ukrainian refugees and relief efforts, click here.

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