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Guest Commentary: Learning And Loving At Shore Dreams For Kids

I never really understood my father’s career. I mean, come on—what is Mercury Racing? What is Formula? And who would want to be in a boat going 165 miles per hour?

This weekend, all my questions about my father’s career were answered. They were answered by the smiling faces of children and adults with disabilities, as well as the smiles on the faces of their loved ones and caregivers—who often are one in the same.

That’s because last Saturday, the 18th annual Shore Dreams for Kids was held in Seaside Heights, N.J., to help benefit children and adults who have disabilities by hosting a day of barbecue food, games and—last but not least—an opportunity to ride in a speedboat. Considering that most of you know what a speedboat is, I’ll save you the trouble of reading my description and myself the trouble of having to write one. My dad is an editor—what can I say?

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For all the hard work they put in at Shore Dreams For Kids, the volunteers are rewarded with the satisfaction of knowing they made challenging lives better, at least for one day (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.

But I digress.

While I was on the dock helping families and children get in and out of beautifully painted vessels that take you to speeds so mesmerizing that you cannot even focus on the ocean beneath you, I saw children’s and loved ones’ faces light up with joy. You see, as an aspiring special education teacher, I know that able-bodied people quite often take these things for granted. Volunteering at Shore Dreams for Kids shows you that what one person might take for granted is another person’s lifelong dream.

People from all over New Jersey and the rest of Northeast flocked to the the small dock in Seaside Heights Marina to fulfill their dream of sitting behind the driver of a high-speed boat. It was the laughter and smiles of the children and their families that made me understand why boats are fascinating manmade contraptions.

For a closer look at the last weekend’s Shore Dreams For Kids event, check out the slide show above.

People with physical and mental challenges should not be known for their disabilities, but rather celebrated for their strengths. Shore Dreams for Kids does just that and gives those dreamers of the shore the opportunity to do something that able-bodied people do all the time. It also gives the countless number of volunteers the opportunity to give back to the families who have given all of their time, love, and energy that they give to their loved ones with a disability.

Last, I want to thank everyone who put on this incredible event. Thank you to every volunteer who walked back and forth on the docks all day, thank you to the event organizers and people who lent out their boats, thank you to my dad’s dear longtime friends Bob and Madelyn Christie for their immense generosity—I stayed with them at their beautiful beachfront home on the New Jersey Shore last weekend—and thank you to my boyfriend, David Rowe, who came along and walked all the miles with me and the rest of the volunteers who make Shore Dreams for Kids 2018 happen.

Oh, and whoever owns that Sea-Ray Sundancer I fell in love with? Please give my father a call. She’s quite a beauty.

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Editor’s Note: A psychology major entering her junior year at Goucher College in Maryland this fall, Anna Trulio (above with her boyfriend, Dave Rowe) is the daughter of speedonthewater.com co-publisher/editor Matt Trulio. This is her first article for the website.

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