Published On: Sun, Apr 5th, 2015

Over 5,000 Guests attended 7th Annual Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities

Boca Raton, Fla. (March 26, 2015) – South Florida’s 7th annual Boating  &  Beach Bash for People with Disabilities ( celebrated Wounded Warriors, kids and adults with physical and/or intellectual challenges, Saturday March 21, 2015, at Spanish River Park in Boca Raton, Fla.

As the nation’s largest, free fun-day for those with physical and/or intellectual challenges and their caregivers, the Boating & Beach Bash exceeded all expectations this year. Smiles, laughter and tears of joy were seen and felt as more than 5,000 guests were treated as VIPs without judgement or exclusion. With boat tours, free food, live musical performances, kite flying, painting, obstacle courses, a “Kids Play Zone,” wheelchair yoga, and dance classes, wholesome family fun was delivered in abundance to all in attendance.

Kicking the day off at 10 a.m., members of Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club in Boca Raton, were joined by other boat owners from across South Florida in treating guests to 30-minute boat rides along the Intracoastal Waterway. A BBQ lunch was served to everyone providing necessary fuel for a day of fun in the sun. Amid the Bash’s many games and activities, guests were entertained by an all-day concert and separate musical performances by celebrity DJ’s Korey’s Krew and the Royal DJs, both featuring DJ’s with Cerebral Palsy.

New this year was the addition of the Body, Mind and Spirit Center where participants had the opportunity to learn wheelchair yoga, laughing yoga, stretching and meditation, as a way to reduce stress and better cope with health and wellness issues. Bash organizers even provided a Quiet Path where guests could sit in a jungle like setting to relax and appreciate the beauty of Spanish River Park.

“Every year, I am taken back by the generosity of all the hardworking volunteers who make the Bash possible. They went above and beyond this year to make it our best Bash yet,” says Boating & Beach Bash Executive Director, Jay Van Vechten. “Not only did we fill all the public parking spaces in the park, at one point we counted 160 cars and vans parked on the grass, with lines of cars waiting to enter the park. It felt like the Magic Kingdom on a busy Saturday. We’ve never seen the event so well attended. None of this would have been possible without the selfless dedication of our more than 400 volunteers and many supporters.”

Chris P. Bacon, the nationally recognized pig with paralysis who has wheels in lieu of hind legs was a special guest this year giving inspiration to all in attendance. More than 30 community organizations were also on site including McDonald’s, Pinecrest Rehabilitation Hospital, Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, Florida Amputee Support Team, MarshMellow Dreams, Achieve Inspire Motivate, Thumbs Up, The Spanish River Paddle Company and many more.

The Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities is run by the American Disabilities Foundation, a 501(c)3 charity. There are no salaries and no overhead, because everyone involved works from their home, meeting up as needed to stay organized. The Bash is made possible by private donations and support from South Florida organizations and volunteers.

For more information or to make a tax deductible donation to the Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities go to Follow the event on Facebook To volunteer or sponsor next year’s event, contact Jay Van Vechten at (561) 715-2622 or at [email protected]. Or write him at PO Box 99, Boca Raton, FL 33429


About Boating and Beach Bash for People with Disabilities

Originally founded in 2008 by members of the City of Boca Raton Advisory Board for People with Disabilities the Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities was created as a unique, fun way to salute people with disabilities and their caregivers by celebrating diversity in South Florida.  In 2011 the city withdrew its direct support for the Bash, claiming the event was growing too quickly and that the city was not in the events business. Rather than allow the Bash to die, Jay Van Vechten and a band of volunteers took over the running of it, and then opened the doors to include people from throughout South Florida. Held every March, the Bash is now completely organized and run by community volunteers. It is funded solely through private donations and sponsorship. For more information, visit, or like Boating & Beach Bash on Facebook (


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  1. You deserve it Jay. Did a great job!

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