Friday, May 24, 2024

Eighth Annual Boating & Beach Bash this Saturday

It’s that time of year again! Our friends Jay and Lowell Van Vechten and their growing posse of dedicated volunteers are poised to stage the Eighth Annual Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities, simply known as “the Bash.” The nation’s largest free, one-day event for people with special needs, the Bash will take place Saturday, March 12, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., at Spanish River Park, 3001 S.R A1A, in Boca Raton.

The Bash has always been a ticket to fun and R&R for people with disabilities and their caregivers through boat rides, barbecue, games and lots of great activities, but this year there is a growing emphasis on health and well being. “We’re excited to offer educational opportunities, health assessments and sporting events at this year’s Bash,” Jay Van Vechten, Executive Director of the American Disabilities Foundation, states. “Our hope is to inspire guests in recognizing the true potential of their abilities, instead of focusing on their disabilities.

Here’s what’s on tap:

• Among the myriad new activities planned for this year’s Bash, guests and their caregivers with neuro-muscular challenges, such as Parkinson’s disease, will have an opportunity to learn dance techniques from Boca Ballet Theatre professionals

• On Spanish River Park’s expansive oceanfront beach, the City of Boca Raton will provide roll out mats for the day to make the beachaccessible for those using mobility devices. There will be games under the direction of former New Orleans Saints NFL Linebacke RayShipman, manager of Adaptive Sports and Recreation at Memorial Rehabilitation Institute.

• Professional swim instructors and lifeguards on hand from Boca’s YMCA Aquatics Program will help guests swim and enjoy gentle surfing experiences close to shore. A team from Dive Heart—a scuba diving group that takes people with disabilities diving in the waters around South Florida—will also be on hand.

• For those unable to participate in any of the beach activities, Michigan Lake Products will construct an accessible viewing stand for the day, placed close to the dunes for wheelchair users can park.

There is much, much more (there always is), from wheelchair basketball to boat rides, action heroes, face painters, a kids’ “Fun Zone” and more!

This is the feel-good event of the year—we ‘ll see you there!

For more information or to make a donation, visit the Bash website ( or call 561/715-2662. Further information is also available by mailing the Bash at: The American Disabilities Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 99, Boca Raton, FL 33429.

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