The Heart of Stoke Foundation was founded by Vince Canfora in January, 2023 in Myrtle Beach, SC
Vince grew up in Myrtle Beach, SC and has skated and surfed for over 40 years. His parents had divorced when he was 9 and he lived with his mother and brother until she remarried when he was 13. Vince received his first skateboard that same year from a friend who gave it to him so the two of them could skate together and it changed his life.
The neighborhood where he lived wasn't the most affluent neighborhood in the world, but he remained focused on skating and surfing as an outlet which he credits to helping shape his life and teaching him valuable life lessons such as perseverance, goal setting and achievement, and community.
Vince went on into careers in law enforcement and diplomatic security before injuries forced his retirement.
While skating late November 2022 at the local skatepark he noticed the number of children standing on the other side of the fence waiting to take a turn or asking to borrow someones board because they didn't have their own. He felt 13 again and decided something had to be done.
When he went home that night, he began the process of incorporating the foundation and seeking nonprofit status even though he had no idea what he was doing.
It worked. The foundation was approved for incorporation just after January 1st, 2023 and was approved for nonprofit status three weeks later.
What started as a local effort has exploded into 9 states with more coming later. Vince will readily tell you he's learning as he goes and surrounds himself with the most talented and valuable individuals he can find. "This team is why this foundation will go on long after we're gone. I couldn't do it without them".