About the Founder
Kahuna Cares was founded by Jennifer Tracy along with Kira Olander, Tammy Leonard, Yvette Fajardo, K Loper Leddy, and Jenny Hitchcock.
Jennifer, the daughter of surf legend Terry “Tubesteak” Tracy, carries on her father's legacy of love. Terry “Tubesteak” Tracy was a well-known surfer, writer and creative soul. His contributions to the surfing community helped form the international surfing industry of today. He was best known for defining the surfer lifestyle; walking away from his 9 to 5 job and building a tiny shack on Malibu beach (yes, the actual beach) where he lived for almost 2 years! He is remembered by his family and friends for his unique personality, his ability to appreciate those who marched to the beat of their own drum and embraced those who lived with special needs.
Tubesteak passed away in 2012 and in his memory, the Tracy family decided to honor and celebrate their father‘s life by creating the first annual Big Kahuna Concert for a Cause. In 2013, the first Big Kahuna Concert was hosted and a large gathering of friends and family celebrated his memory, raised public awareness and funds for programs for special needs kids and adults. A cause that was close to Tubesteak’s heart and the perfect tribute to their father’s life and work helping others. It was a natural progression to begin a non-profit organization of her own, The Kahuna Cares Foundation.
Kahuna Cares Foundation is a dedicated team of volunteers, friends, and advocates working together on a mission to raise funds, which will support and expand programs that enrich the lives of individuals with special needs.
Kira Olander, Vice President
Kira is an entrepreneur and proud mama of 4 awesome kids. She thrives on being busy and getting things accomplished. Kira lives for music, art, traveling, good food, spending time with friends and family, and meeting new people. She believes in Karma and helping others. “I love planning, organizing and hosting events, and doing it for those in need is amazing!”.
Tammy Jo Leonard, Treasurer
Tammy Jo Leonard has been working in the music industry for the past 25 years. She has dedicated much of her life to working and volunteering for many non-profit organizations that raise money so students can own an instrument, take lessons, or attend a music camp to help fulfill their love and passion for music.
Daria Wendkos, Secretary
Daria has had always had A love for special needs kids. She got involved with the special needs community 20 years ago living next door to a young man who had Autism. To this day they have a great friendship and she still sees him regularly.
Daria enjoys giving back to the community spending time with her teenage daughters and has been happily married for 10 years
Jennie is a loving mother to a son and a daughter, who taught the importance of loving and respecting those living with special needs. She works as a cosmetologist at the successful hair salon, Syrens, in San Clemente. She is a friend to many and loves being involved and giving back to her community. Jennie is very excited about the opportunity to be involved in Kahuna Cares Foundation, and the potential to help those with special needs and their families.
Jesus "Chuche" Arredondo
Jesus is currently working for Tuttle-Click Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram. He and his lovely wife enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends. Jesus is the oldest of three brothers. Salvador is the middle brother, and the youngest brother Daniel, has down syndrome. Jesus has always been incredibly supportive of his brother with special needs, along with the entire special needs community. He is welcoming to all! Kahuna Cares Foundation is proud to have Jesus as a member of the board of directors.
After cultivating her education at San Diego State University and Cal State Los Angeles she was employed by 3M Media and began her career art directing and designing billboards. Shan remained in the industry through five acquisitions earning three Addy Awards along the way. She was also an active member of the OAAA Creative Committee encouraging design excellence for Out Of Home advertising campaigns.
After fifteen years in the OOH industry she made the decision to create her own freelance graphic design business, Too Kind Design, in order to spend more time concentrating on her lovely daughter, Maya, who was diagnosed with Autism at 22 months. Maya is the sun in her little solar system and when she's not busy teaching her she creates and manages design content, marketing strategies, branding solutions and building relationships for organizations and individuals.
Shan is honored to be part of the Kahuna Cares Foundation and hopes to be an integral part of growing our community, increasing awareness and advocating for those individuals whose needs fall outside the traditional continuum of care and protection.
K Loper Leddy
In 1981 Kay began her studies in special education at the University of Nevada, Reno. During her studies she went to an Autism Conference in Sacramento which sparked her deep interest in Autism and what she could do to help others. She moved to California in 1997 where she started working for the Capistrano Unified School District as an instructional aide. She continued her work as an independence facilitator leading into her current position at the Adult Transition Program (ATP) with the Capistrano Unified School District.
K was honored to have received the Regional Center of Orange County Spotlight Award in 2007 for outstanding service to people with developmental disabilities on the frontline. She has always loved her work and continues to grow as she helps others around her grow. One of her big hobbies is culinary arts and she was also privileged to be able to work with ATP students at the Culinary Arts program at Saddleback College helping four students receive their Culinary Certificate and walk in Saddleback Commencement. It is a great honor to be serving the Kahuna Cares Foundation community and K looks forward to being apart of an organization that will touch so many lives.
Yvette became aware and involved with the special needs community about 18 years ago. She was working at an elementary school in san Clemente, where Jennifer Tracy would bring in a young autistic boy to interact with the Kids in her after school activities room. Her sister was struggling with her then 2 year old with behaviors unlike anything we could explain or ever experienced. As she learned through Jennifer about autism and watched the young boys behaviors, she recognized behaviors and sensory issues similar to her nephew's. Shortly after requesting to her sister to have him diagnosed, she and their whole family began a journey that has humbled and changed each of their lives. Jennifer became family as she guided them to finding help, research, programs and organizations to aide in my nephews conditions. One of the first great organizations was Surfers Healing for Autistic children. It was during the first surf event her nephew participated in that she became an active volunteer and advocate for helping special needs organizations.
She believes in Kahuna Cares Foundation and is proud to have actively participated in the past four Kahuna Concert for a Cause events. Creating local business relationships as well as corporate, Yvette was able to obtain raffle prizes, exquisite auction packages and monetary donations. Each year became easier for her as these businesses were proud to donate based on the success and positive media reports gained through the event. She understands the importance of obtaining these sort of business relationships as the success is partially through their help. She is great at communicating our quest and giving businesses both local and corporate, an opportunity to donate to great special needs causes to which many have been touched by in their own families. Yvette believes we can help the special needs community by having successful fundraising events for different organizations which can help bring awareness and resources to those special needs families seeking help.