See what one man left behind…

Jay Van Vechten had such an engaging personality it was hard to turn him down. That became obvious after thousands of people showed up every spring, 12 years after he and Lowell founded the Boating and Beach for People With Disabilities here in Boca. That will be Jay’s legacy. He died over the weekend at 75.

Most people who move to Boca later in life don’t leave a legacy. Their important work is behind them. They move here to retire, or they’re busy raising a family.

If you Google Jay’s name, you’ll see him pictured with celebrities as the New York PR man he was. He didn’t talk about it unless you had a similar background. Like most Boca people, he didn’t look back. Looking forward was another story entirely.

Putting the bash together, person by person, piece by piece, was never easy. The logistics alone were a challenge. So was enough money to cover the costs. But if you go to the web site, you’ll see more than 60 sponsors and partners eventually climbed on board. A national foundation became the presenting sponsor. It’s mantra is “the largest, free fun event for people with disabilities in the country.”

The last meeting before the bash this March went smoothly. Everybody knew his or her job. They had enough food for the free barbecue. They had enough captained boats for the free boat rides up the Intracoastal. The music acts were in place. That was all Jay and Lowell and their army of “happy to do this” volunteers.

Jay with his son Nick and his wife Lowell

Jay was on a walker from a fall in 2001 that probably changed his life. “Oh, poor me” was not in his frame of reference. But it’s apparent why he started the bash. He identified with disabled people who didn’t have access. Now, thanks to him, one day a year they do.

His last Facebook post was 12:20 a.m. July 10. There’s already a bevy of sad salutes to him. No surprise. This is a man who will be missed. Whose later life made a difference. We hope this pandemic is over soon so those of us who knew him can celebrate who he was and what he left behind.

By Marci Shatzman

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

-Advertisement-
-Advertisement-

Trending Now

Town Center announces new stores

Photos by Simon Town Center at Boca Raton just announced six new stores open now and five coming soon at the mall on Glades and...

Chick-fil-A opens in Uptown Boca

Chick-fil-A has opened in Uptown Boca, west Boca’s new retail and residential complex. Hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, closed...

New public golf course deal leaves Boca Teeca site out…What happens now?

In a surprise move, the city just accepted Boca Country Club as the new 18-hole public golf course. That made the planned and designed...

1st peek at new hotel downtown

  An eight-story hotel with Mizneresque touches, retail and restaurants. A much-needed parking garage open to the public downtown. Shaded pedestrian walkways. This is the...

Old golf course cleanup for Boca Teeca

Fence off access by ATVs. Install lighting for walkers. Get rid of dead vegetation and dying trees. Boca Teeca residents can look forward to...
-Advertisement-

Related Articles

Expert advice for planning ahead

Do you need to bring some remote workers back to the workplace. Or just want better compliance with Covid restrictions at your condo? Or...

Mizner Amphitheater mural ready for its closeup

The toddler ran right up to the mural on the stage doors at the city's Mizner Park Amphitheater, attracted to the ballerina. Except for finishing...

Resort’s Beach Club debuts new décor, restaurants

  Boca Resort & Club has dressed up the Beach Club and added two restaurants. “As part of the iconic property’s $150 million renovation, the Resort...
ADVERTISE WITH US