It seems like yesterday we were beseeching our readers and the community to come out and support the annual Boating and Beach Bash for People With Disabilities, an event tagged as a “Miracle on the Intracoastal,” the baby of big-hearted Boca resident Jay Van Vechten. We wrote that blog back in January and we are happy to update everyone. 

The good news is that the event is ON—and the community has rallied.  Donations have poured in, the media is all over it, and the event is stacking up to be the “biggest, free, fun-day event in the nation for people with physical and/or intellectual challenges.”

The 2012 Bash will be held this Saturday, March 24, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Spanish River Park on A1A in Boca Raton.  More than 3,000 guests are expected to attend.

Attendees at the 2012 Bash will be treated to a complimentary BBQ lunch, free rides on the Intracoastal aboard one of dozens of yachts and motorboats, lent for the day by the generous members of Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club. There will also be a Fun Zone, an Exhibitor Zone, therapy ponies, service dogs, live music and entertainment. Those crazy  “Gator Boys” from the Animal Planet will even be on hand.

  “We couldn’t do this without the kindness and generosity we’ve seen from every sector of the community,” says Bash founder and co-director Jay Van Vechten. What has stunned him and Bash co-director Zack Rice is the broad range of donors that have stepped to the fore to fund this year’s event.

Rice says, “We’re received contributions from Unicorn Children’s Foundation, Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation, Stand Among Friends, the Achilles Track Club, the Schmidt Family Foundation, the Carl and Renee Landegger Family Charitable Trust, the Tim Snow Scholarship Foundation, the Rotary Club, the Alzheimer’s Foundation, and the E. M. Lynn Foundation, Shake a Leg Miami, among others.

 “We appreciate every donation, big or small,” adds Van Vechten, “Because collectively it helps meet expenses. We’re especially grateful for those small donations, such as the $10 handed to my wife by a woman at a local store. She said she hoped it would help. My wife told her that every little bit helps.”

Other groups lining up to be part of this year’s event include Korey’s Krew, the Palm Beach Drowning Prevention Coalition, Canine Companions for Independence, the Big Bike Riders Children’s Foundation, the Florida Amputee Support Team, Seagull Industries for the Disabled, Accessible Home Finders, Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA, Affordable Accessibility, Automobility Sales, Center for Independent Living, Merrill Lynch, Ocean Conversions & Mobility, Progressive Self Defense, Prosperity Life Planning, Schumacher MV1 of Palm Beach, Seagull Industries, VA Hospital of WPB and Vital Flight, 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast.

Was it a miracle on the Intracoastal? You decide. But we are pleased that the Bash is on, and hats off to Jay Van Vechten and Zack Rice for making a few dreams come true.

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