The first time Amanda Boeggeman took a ride on a performance boat at the Shore Dreams for Kids event in New Jersey in 2011, her parents Brian and Joan were caught off guard by just how much her daughter loved the experience.
“It was kind of surprising to us,” said Brian. “She’s been on cruise ships, she’s been on jet skis a lot and she’s even been on boats. We knew she enjoyed it, but not to that extent.”
Thanks to her parents’ purchase of a 25-foot Monterey SS, Shore Dreams for Kids participant Amanda Boeggeman will be spending a lot more time on the water (click image to enlarge).
Amanda, who is now 27, became a regular at Shore Dreams for Kids from 2011 to 2014, riding on a variety of boats, including a pontoon. She would attend as a guest of her boyfriend Patrick Cotter, a successful Special Olympian in New Jersey who is frequently invited to events such as Shore Dreams for Kids. Two years in a row, she got to ride in a red Cigarette. Brian said the owner of the boat remembered Amanda and he was happy to have her aboard.
The Boeggemans loved seeing how happy their daughter was when she was in a boat so much that they decided to buy their own boat, a 2016 Monterey 258 SS powered by a 300-hp MerCruiser stern drive.
“We’re not easing into it,” Brian said. “We’re going all out.”
Boeggeman bought the boat from Coty Marine where the sales manager is Dave Patnaude, founder and current president of the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club and a retired director of the Shore Dreams for Kids charity.
Shore Dreams for Kids is a non-profit organization that works throughout the year to raise money to hold an annual boat-ride day for more than 600 kids from the Special Olympics, Make a Wish Foundation, Oceans of Love Support Group for Children with Cancer and special needs kids from New Jersey with a day of boating and fun at the shore.
“To take these kids and their families on the rides, it showed how great the boating community is in this area,” said Joan Boeggeman. “We didn’t know what to expect the first time we went out. People with disabilities just love it when other people treat them normally.” Joan was especially impressed with the number of teenage volunteers at the event.
When it comes to her new boat, Amanda, who has intellectual disabilities but is high functioning, couldn’t wait for the first ride. She has a computer and has been frequenting the Monterey website. She wants to go tubing and Brian said she loves having the wind and spray in her face.
Because they’re new owners, the Boeggemans are going to take a year or two to learn how to run their new boat. Once they’re comfortable, they’ll return to Shore Dreams for Kids and this time they’ll be giving rides and making other children’s dreams come true.
Editor’s note: Shore Dreams for Kids 2016 is scheduled for Saturday, July 16.