It has become “one of the most revered events in the New York/ New Jersey area” for members of the Wounded Warrior Project and their families. For three years The Atlantic City Veterans Offshore Grand Prix has created a day of activities for vets and their families, which has included a classic car show, a reception hosted by the Golden Nugget Casino Marina and of course, go-fast boat rides.
Gary Goodell’s GEICO Caveman Cigarette was one of ten boats that provided rides to members of the Wounded Warrior Project yesterday in Atlantic City. Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey-Sharkey Images.
This year, 157 Warriors and relatives came out to “Do Atlantic City” for yesterday’s boat rides and also were treated by the Steel Pier Amusement Park to an afternoon of food and fun. Ten boats owned and crewed by New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club members and race volunteers gave 80 to 100 rides on during partly cloudy afternoon with relatively calm water conditions.
“Word of mouth for this event grows each years,” said Tony Ntellas of the New York office of Wounded Warrior Project. “Many of our Warriors are adrenaline seekers and they know they will certainly get that here, in what could be a once in a life time experience.”
Dean Mendrys of Midland Park, N.J., gives up his 47-foot Fountain Lightning with Triple Mercury Racing 700 engines as a turn boat on race day. But on Saturday, it’s all about the Warriors. He carried 25 to 30 people over the afternoon at speed of 85 to 90 mph. The rides drained one of Mendrys’ three fuel tanks to the tune of about $1,000. And he was happy for the opportunity to support his country’s veterans.
Said Mendrys, “I’m blessed to be in a position to do this, to give back a little.”
“I love boating and I love sharing the joy of boating,” Mendrys said. “I’m blessed to be in a position to do this, to give back a little.” He said. “To see the smile on everyone’s faces is so rewarding, and that includes the smile on my face as well.”
Look for continued coverage on this weekend’s Atlantic City event on speedonthewater.com.
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