Operation Beachhead ended the summer season on Saturday August 29th the same way it began the season, with a beautiful beach day.
At this session members of the Best Day Foundation joined us. The Best Day Foundation is a volunteer organization that works with special needs children helping them to enjoy activities like surfing, body boarding, kayaking, and winter activities.
The surf was becoming increasingly rough, so the surfing portion of the day ended a little sooner than normal. Realizing the conditions of the ocean were deteriorating, the surf instructions hurried the events along and quickly got the participants in the water using tandem kayaks, single kayaks, and surfboards. Before the water activities ended the Operation Beachhead team was able to try out three new adaptive surfboards. Through generous donations, we were able replace some of the older boards, that have started to breakdown. On a loan to Operation Beachhead was newly designed wave ski that the team tried out on Saturday. Tyler Lausten created the new design. The wave ski is being used with great success by another organization: The High Fives. The High Fives is a non-profit 501c.3 organization that raises awareness of injury prevention and provides resources and inspiration to those who suffer life-altering injuries.
Our team was treated to a very special surprise on this Saturday. Sea Girt residents, Robert and Kathy Kregg, created a beautiful sand and shell sculpture dedicated to Operation Beachhead. They were on the beach crafting their design when we arrived. We were able to watch the progress as it was completed. It was a perfect display to end our season, inspiring us to use it in our group photo.
Each session of an Operation Beachhead beach day ends with a shared lunch in the picnic area of the beach. It was hard to imagine that the season was over already. We had so much to look back on -
many new participants, so many new volunteers, including some very young volunteers willing to share their love of surfing and the ocean to help others. This year also marked our first geographic expansion to southern Jersey.
On August 15th, Operation Beachhead traveled to Wildwood New Jersey to hold the first Charlie Butler Memorial Storm the Surf Day. A Vietnam veteran, Charlie Butler belonged to the same platoon as Operation Beachhead founder, Michael Ricci.
As always, a Beachhead day would not be possible without the help of the town of Sea Girt, the Sea Girt Beach Staff, and lifeguards.
While many of the Operation Beachhead Team either headed home or back to the beach after lunch, several members headed to The Country Roads Day Camp in Manalapan, NJ. The Manalapan Police PBA 229 hosted its first annual Grill and Chill Family Fun Day, a fundraising event. Operation Beachhead was honored as one of two recipients of a portion of the proceeds from the Grill and Chill. The other recipient was Country Roads Day Camp, which established a special skills program for children with learning disabilities.
Operation Beachhead was treated to a delicious barbeque meal in the activity-filled camp setting. The program opened with music by the impressive Monmouth County Police and Fire Pipes and Drums. Operation Beachhead was then introduced to those attending with founder Michael Ricci giving a brief explanation of what the organization provides. Following our presentation, The Country Roads Day Camp was introduced along with a description of their special skills program for children
What a great way to end our season!
Operation Beachhead © 2011. All rights reserved.
Founded in 2011, Operation Beachhead is a 501c/3 non-profit organization based at the Jersey Shore.
-- P0 Box 333 Manasquan, NJ 08736