Day on the Bay Set for July 28; Donations Still Needed

By Eric Englund | Jul 17, 2019

Barnegat — The Barnegat Recreation Department’s disability advisory board plans a “Day on the Bay” on Sunday, July 28, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sherer’s Boat Basin. Board member Walt Fernandez said the event provides free boat rides for children and adults with special needs.

“Many people with disabilities don’t often get a chance to go out in the water and enjoy a nice summer day,” he said. “I’m very pleased when I see the smiles on the faces of the people going out on the boats. It makes this event very worthwhile.”

Fernandez said he is also looking for people to donate boats or fuel. Someone looking to make a monetary donation can make the check payable to Township of Barnegat and write “Day on the Bay” in the memo space.

“With the money donations, we are able to have food, drinks, giveaway items, and we also send every rider home with a picture of themselves at Day on the Bay,” he said. “We now even have had a DJ for the past several years, and all the riders just love that. Not only do they get a boat ride, but they even get to dance or even sing while holding the microphone. The Barnegat police set up a station for those who want their picture taken, and then their info is put into the police database and the rider is given a laminated identity card with their picture on it.”

Fernandez said the idea for the event was spawned when he was a member of the township recreation department disabilities board, which plans events for people with special needs.

“I realized so many special needs people had never been on or thought to be on a boat,” he said. “I thought to myself, ‘How is this possible? You live near the Jersey Shore and never have been on a boat?’ So I went home that day and thought. During the next several days I went to the local marinas and asked if they would be willing to rent me some boats. They looked at me funny and asked for what. When I told them what I had in mind, they said that they wanted to participate as well. Then I went to the town and I asked if they would insure us for the day, and they said yes.”

For more information, call the recreation department at 609-698-0080, extension 130, or Fernandez at 609-290-8741.  —E.E.

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