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Wick Theatre throws 75th birthday fundraiser for Boating and Beach Bash founder

South Florida Sun Sentinel - 11/7/2019

Jay Van Vechten, co-founder of the annual Boating and Beach Bash for People with Disabilities, said he developed a life motto years ago: “Don’t postpone joy.”

When he recently turned 75, about 100 guests filled the Wick Theatre in Boca Raton with joy -- and the sounds of cabaret -- to celebrate with “Cocktails, Canapes & Cabaret.”

Notables such as philanthropist Marleen Forkas; Jan McArt (First Lady of the Florida Stage); County Commissioner Robert Weinroth and his wife Pam; television personality Arlene Herson; and Boca Raton City Councilwoman Andrea O’Rourke and her husband George were among those came out to support the Bash, now in its 12th year, and the American Disabilities Foundation.

Headlining the show was Kellye Cash, a former Miss America and niece of Johnny Cash, who performed her own version of “Ring of Fire,” written by June Carter, and a rendition of “Young At Heart.” Other performers were Sean McGibbon, Aaron Kemper, Rob Russell, Mason Pace, Meg Frost, the Hot Shoe Shuffle Boys, Michael Walters and Lois Sage.

Directing the event was Johnathon Van Dyke, director of “Hot Shoe Shuffle” at the Wick through Nov. 10.

Van Vechten’s wife Lowell Van Vechten, who serves as the Bash’s administrative director, provided some comic relief with a poem about aging.

“For me, the occasion of my 75th birthday felt like it was a day that should be celebrated in a full-throttle, full-voiced way,” Jay Van Vechten said in a statement. “In fact, ‘Cocktails, Canapes & Cabaret’ exceeded my wildest expectations. I loved every minute of it.”

The 2020 Boating and Beach Bash, a free family festival, will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 1 at Spanish River Park, 3001 N. State Road A1A, in Boca Raton. According to organizers, 6,000 guests came out last year for an all-day concert, barbecue lunch, boat rides and beach attractions in the park and on the water.



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