What began as “A Day On The Bay” more than 30 years ago became Shore Dreams For Kids 10 years later and has been going strong ever since. Yesterday’s morning and afternoon powerboat rides, food service and carnival-style fun for 750 physically and mentally challenged children and adults and their families in Seaside Heights, N.J., is yet another successful chapter in the ongoing Shore Dreams story.
It takes a village of volunteers to put on Shore Dreams for Kids—and Saturday’s event was no exception. All photos courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.
“It was awesome,” said Joe Nasso, the president of the board of directors for the nonprofit organization. “We had great weather, more than 750 participants, upward of 35 boats providing rides and an incredible group of volunteers. Without them, it couldn’t have happened.”
As part of the festivities, the Shore Dreams For Kids board of directors honored two of the five original Day On The Bay founding families, John and Nancy Bochis and Bud and Rae Crisp, with plaques commemorating their contribution.
“Without their vision, we would never have been able to follow in their footsteps,” Nasso said. “And for their part, they said they could not believe what their original idea has evolved into—they couldn’t believe how elaborate it’s become. They started off with a few grills, some hamburgers and some hot dogs.”
Outgoing Shore Dreams director Dave Patnaude said one of the most emotional highlights of the event was the participation of Stacey Applegate, the widow of Scott Applegate, and her their sons Willis and Austin. A well-known figure in the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club and Shore Dreams supporter, Scott Applegate died from cancer in August 2006.
Taking the family for a ride in his 52-foot Outerlimits V-bottom yesterday was New Jersey-based performance boat owner Tom Toto. Photographer Tim Sharkey came along for the ride, just as he had with Applegate on the last ride in his cherished 42-foot Outerlimits, JusTruckin’, before he died.
Tom Toto and friends took the Applegate family for a ride during the event in Toto’s 52-foot Outerlimits.
“I actually shed a few tears when Stacey and the kids showed up,” said Patnaude. “We hadn’t seen them in five years.”
“It was an emotional ride for all of us today,” said Sharkey.
For Patnaude, the entire day was bittersweet as it was his last tour of duty as the director of Shore Dreams. He served in that position for 11 years.
“One of the best decisions we made as a board was forming the junior board of directors,” said Patnaude. “That will ensure Shore Dreams continues. And I feel excellent that Shore Dreams is in the hands of Joe Nasso and the rest of the existing board. The event will live on.
“I’ll still help them with whatever they need,” he added. “And I’m looking forward to bringing my own boat next year and giving rides.”
As it has for many years, Shore Dreams produced smiles from everyone involved.