As it has for more than a decade, Shore Dreams For Kids brought joy to everyone involved. All photos courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.
Though the news of Friday’s tragedy on Lake Lanier in Georgia shocked and consumed the international performance-boating community, there was at least one event in the go-fast boating world this weekend that brought joy to everyone involved. Yesterday’s 14th annual Shore Dreams For Kids event in Seaside Heights, N.J., provided great escapes—via free powerboat rides, carnival fun and food—for hundreds of mentally and physically challenged children adults and their families, as well as the army of volunteers who made it happen.
Donating his time and energy to the event, as he has for more than 10 years, was photographer Tim Sharkey. “It was a picture perfect day and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get shots for the kids, the boat owners and speedonthewater.com,” said Sharkey, who managed to capture more than 400 images in less than an hour.
For more images from the Shore Dreams For Kids 2016, check out the slideshow above.
Among the powerboat enthusiasts who provided rides was Mike Jurusz of Chef Mike’s ABG (Atlantic Bar and Grill) Restaurant in nearby Seaside Park. Though he did provide powerboat rides a few years ago in his 28-foot Sea-Ray, Jurusz—a lifelong boater—primarily has lent his formidable skills to the cooking side of the event for the past eight years. (The community-oriented chef is involved with 80 to 100 charitable events annually.)
This time around, Jurusz got back on the water with his 17-year-old son, Trevor, taking “first mate” duties in a 24-foot Chris Craft open-bow runabout donated by Ocean Beach Marine Centers in Lavallette, N.J.
“We were able to take out 26 kids,” he said. “The smiles on their faces were absolutely priceless. These kids, they have nothing. We are so privileged to have a good life. Most of the volunteers here have a good life. To help out these kids, to see the smiles on their faces and their, is everything. It brings tears to your eyes.
“I had this little girl in the bow yesterday,” he continued. “She thought she was on a roller-coaster ride. She was so happy. When you leave there, you feel so good about yourself. But the whole day is about them. It’s not about us.”
Jurusz was quick to credit his fellow members of the New Jersey go-fast boating community including Bob Christie and Anthony Sauta, who ran the docks yesterday, Shore Dreams president Geralyn Monroe and the organization’s dedicated board of directors, and New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club president Dave Patnaude.
“The (boating) community here is so tight,” he said. “We help each other out. That’s our boating community.”
Volunteering at Shore Dreams for Kids for the first time with his new boat, Stephen Lane brought his stunning Skater 318 catamaran powered by a pair of Mercury Racing 400R outboard engines.
Editor’s Note: The Shore Dreams For Kids board of directors members includes Geralyn Monroe, John Marotta, Bernie Martins, Alissa Martins, Gina Marotta, Cassia Roxas and Bill Ziegenbalg.