The 12th Annual Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities – the nation’s largest, free, one-day event for people with disabilities, both seen and unseen– will again welcome national entertainment to its stages for its audience of more than 5,000. Presented by the American Disabilities Foundation, the event has become an inclusive Spring Break event, drawing families from across the country.
Returning for 2020, Rion Paige, an 18-year-old finalist on the X Factor, will perform as one of the Bash’s two headliners. A Jacksonville, FL native, who now lives in Nashville, TN, Paige was born with a rare condition called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, which caused permanent damage to her arms, resulting in her hands being in a fixed, bent position. A country-and-western musician with a huge singing voice, Rion finished in fifth place on Season 3 of the X Factor, where she was mentored by Demi Lovato.
Coming back for her third year will be singer Kechi Okwuchi, a Nigerian-American singer and motivational speaker. She was one of the two survivors in the Sosoliso Airlines Flight 1145 crash on Dec. 10, 2005, and suffered severe third-degree burns all over her body. To date, she has endured more than 100 surgeries. A finalist on the 12th season of America’s Got Talent in 2017, Okwuchi headlined the Boating & Beach Bash in 2018 and 2019 and was a tremendous crowd-pleaser.
“We couldn’t be happier to have two young stars who demonstrate through their amazing talent that people with disabilities have so much to contribute to our enjoyment,” said Executive Director Jay Van Vechten. “Each year, the Bash grows in so many ways – with our entertainment, support, visitors, features and sheer fun factor. We are bringing back the elements people love and adding to it with the star power of Ms. Paige and Ms. Okwuchi.”
The 12th Annual Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities will be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday, March 1, 2020, at Spanish River Park, 3001 North Ocean Blvd. (A1A), Boca Raton, FL 33431.
Designed as a Spring Break vacation for all people with disabilities, their family members and supportive caregivers, the Bash has welcomed guests from as far away as California and Rome, Italy. It is the only event of its kind, offering complimentary, scheduled boat rides, special access to the beach and ocean with Mobi Mats, a Kids Fun Zone, therapy workshops led by trained specialists, wheelchair yoga, music, costumed dance parties, therapy ponies and dogs, a BBQ lunch, and more. Everything is free and geared toward the guests’ special needs.
ABOUT THE BOATING & BEACH BASH FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES:
The Bash was started in 2009 as an event hosted by the City of Boca Raton Advisory Board for People with Disabilities. The City relinquished the Bash in 2011 to the management of Executive Director Jay Van Vechten and his wife, Lowell. Since then, through community support and donations, the couple and the Bash’s planning committee have pushed the event’s growth beyond wildest expectations. Welcoming more than 5,000 guests in 2018, the Bash has become the largest, free, wholly disability-friendly event in the country with a full schedule of entertainment, recreation, boat rides, beach access, vendors, exhibitions, workshops and food in the nation . It has also become a Spring Break destination event in South Florida, drawing families from as far away as California and New York. Learn more at boatingbeachbash.com