Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities
Come out Saturday and Join Us!
Time to share some nice news with our friends, colleagues and supporters as we enter the final week before the 2012 4th annual Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities. It really is remarkable that this event has established itself as the biggest, free, fun-day celebration in the nation for people with special needs. So let me tell you what to expect on Saturday, March 24, at Spanish River Park in Boca Raton. Let’s start with today’s story in Boca News Now…..
In other updates, Congressman Ted Deutch will attend the Bash at approximately 11:00AM to participate in our ceremonial ‘kick off’ to the day’s events, thanks to Mimi Lippincott’s direct invitation to the Congressman and his staff. Expect the National Anthem and an ROTC Color Guard to make this day an official All – American extravaganza.
Kendra Fulmer, the beautiful and talented daughter of Ingrid Fulmer – and Boca’s 18 year old ‘Entertainer of the Year,’ will sing for guests during the day. Take a look at her on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lv-pq1l3BMo&feature=related. She’ll be joined ‘on stage’ by Wendy Friswell’s delightfully old fashioned Barbershop Quartet and our all female acapella group, Sunsation.
DJ Korey Soderman, http://www.koreyskrew.com/about-us/board-of-directors/korey-soderman/
our favorite young rising star with Cerebral Palsy, will DJ in the Fun Zone, which is now totally sponsored by a very generous grant from Unicorn Children’s Foundation. Of course we’ll again have the special and unique Pat Kennedy band, where everyone in this rockin’ group has a disability, including blindness and paraplegia.
A delightful entertainment surprise comes from one of our intern volunteers from FAU, a native of Bangladesh, who is bringing her Bengali Dancers, to do classic Bollywood dancing, popularized in the movie Slum Dog Millionaire. Under the trees, close by to the dancers, guests will be able to interact with miniature therapy ponies and beautiful service dogs – all trained to respond and interact with people with special needs. The popular Gator Boys of the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet will be bringing baby gators for all to see. Don’t worry…their mouths will be taped shut – the gators, not the boys! http://animal.discovery.com/videos/gator-boys/ Expect a film crew from Discovery to be following them around.
In the heart of the park, close to the BBQ area, will be nearly 30 tents showcasing local nonprofits and those who offer special services to the disability community. The range of offerings is amazing and incredibly important for our guests.
Big Bike Riders for Children Foundation will ride into the park with more than a dozen BIG decked out Harley’s, which will be placed in a static display of heavy metal, embellished by several $100k bikes from a local collector. This eye popping display beneath the trees promises to be popular with the kid inside each of us. These burly biker guys, who love kids and always deliver baskets full of packages to area children’s hospitals at the holidays, will be helping Zack down by the water and perhaps even on board some of the boats as ‘Biker Hosts on Boats,’ making sure everyone is safe and comfortable during their 45 minute ride on the Intracoastal.
Shake a Leg Miami, http://www.shakealegmiami.org/site/c.kkLUJbMQKpH/b.2521629/k.BF03/Home.htm one of our favorite charity’s, has come through with a front loading pontoon boat, providing easy roll on accessibility for wheelchairs. I know some of you had requested this – so please let your contacts know this special boat will be with us.
Wednesday, March 21, marks our cover story in the Sun Sentinel’s Society Section, thanks to Wendy Friswell’s efforts. It was all shot at Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club’s Marina featuring Mayor Whelchel, one of our great boosters for the last four years. She was photographed with Zack and me, while inside the supplement you’ll see pictures of Danny, Shawn, Adam Susser, Marybeth – Judi Ake’s daughter, and a host of other friends, + 2 of the cutest ponies ever.
Speaking of Zack Rice, he continues to work his magic in so many ways, from lining up dozens of volunteer motor boats and captains, to raising money and ordering food, which this week included 3000 hamburgers and 3000 hotdogs, while working with me to settle complex insurance issues. We’re just about there.
Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation continues to be our constant supporter in getting everything moving forward. Thanks to them all 400 Purple Heart recipients living in our area have been invited. The VA Hospital has taken a booth and members of the VA staff are signing on to volunteer as well.
Our general volunteer support in fact is overwhelming. From the Miami Dolphins Volunteer Team to the Junior League and a dozen other organizations like the Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Sea Cadets and area schools, we’ll have unequalled diversity in our support network for any local event I’ve ever seen. My guess is close to 200 will be on there to assist our guests. There will be a ‘dress rehearsal’ Friday in the park at 5PM, where all volunteers are to gather, form teams and get assignments.
Shawn Friedkin was on TV yesterday on Barry Epstein’s show promoting the Bash. We’ll always be grateful that Shawn was our board chair when we went to the City to seek permission to create the Bash. Thank you Shawn. Once again you have helped shine the light on PWD’s.
Wife Lowell, who spent her career on stage narrating special events, has agreed to be our energetic MC, introducing acts and directing people to participate in the Bash’s numerous activities. Her inner ham will shine brightly. If you have any notes or specific thank you’s to be read from the podium, get them to her.
Even our son Nick got in the act this week when he personally phoned over 50 area houses of worship asking spiritual leaders to let members of their congregation, with disabilities, know about the Bash. I’ve been calling him, Your Eminence since Thursday.
I can’t say enough personally about the core volunteers who have joined my kitchen table brigade helping organize and move things forward. You guys have been utterly amazing and dedicated beyond words of gratitude. Lisa Hamilton Johnson continues to stagger and dazzle my brain with her multiple efforts, while Sandra Gottfried’s renderings for our handout map are really beautiful (see attached). Yvonne Duncan is organizing volunteers, and Judi Ake is at the house almost every day organizing her spread sheets and making sense of the overwhelming amount of stuff pouring over the transom.
Wendy Friswell’s seemingly effortless waving of her magic wand indeed has made magic at so many levels, such as bringing in the Children’s Museum and the Boca Museum of Art. While Judy Daniels enthusiasm and ideas propel our own ideas to make this event better and better each year. Behind the scenes Brian Howard has been at Boca High lining up students, Barry Epstein has done two TV shows for us and written about us on his blog. Gary Susser, in spite of being a high powered attorney and our anchor is our own living bottle of Valium, urging calmness in the face of adversity. Roz Goldstein, new to our group, has called every politician between here and Tallahassee urging our representatives at the local, regional, state and national level to attend the Bash or risk not being elected again.
Tyler Wells, our secret security man, is our own one man CIA, plotting and organizing everyone’s safety. In this regard we have received approval for the event from the Department of Homeland Security. I guess we’re not a threat after all! Finally, I know Rose Lee Archer is getting her video camera and equipment ready to work with son Pat in documenting next Saturday. As our resident videographer, Rose Lee’s efforts give us a visual legacy to remind us in future years how utterly amazing it is when a group of like minded people come together in a community to make for a memorable day that salutes people with special needs. Each of you mentioned in this note and all of your receiving this event update are the special ones to me and Zack.
Thank you on behalf of both of us.
Jay & Zack
photographed here with Mayor Whelchel