Special needs kids' day

A youngster is helped onto a boat, chair and all, at a previous Kids' Day at Marine Stadium.

A quarter of a century ago, in 1994, The Long Beach Boat and Ski Club created Kid’s Day with the intention to give back to the community.

The charity arm of the famous Catalina Ski Race is operated by CSR Children’s Foundation, Inc. Organizers work with local hospitals, caregivers and other non-profit agencies to create a special experience for disabled children and their family members.

This year, leading up to the July event there are a couple of creative fundraisers.

CSR Children’s Foundation is hosting its first annual Dinghies and Duffys Fundraising Poker Run, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 15. Entry fees start as little as $100 per person.

Those registered moor at the public dock in front of Long Beach Yacht Club between 10 and 11 a.m. for sign-in, a light breakfast and brief instructions. After a driver’s meeting, the participants will spread out throughout the bay to stop at the seven card stops.

Those who don’t have boats can either rent them from one of the local rental companies or a few boat owners might be able to host others. It is low tide that day but if for any boat unable to clear the bridges can skip those stops and double up at other stops.

After collecting their cards, the participants will return to Long Beach Yacht Club to play their hands, enjoy a buffet lunch, and bid on fabulous silent and live auction items. The day will conclude with prizes presented to the winning hands. Space is limited so early registration is highly recommended.

To sign up, contact Kathie Sitton at 714-864-1405.

The First annual Pier to Pier Classic on inter-tubes on June 8 also is hosted by the Long Beach Boat & Ski Club. There are almost 20 different classes that entrants can race in — from Competition ski boats to inflatables. There is even a Craigslist Class. This event is limited to 80 boats. Call Todd Kelm at 562-493-4444 for details.

The 25th annual Kid’s Day will be on Friday, July 12, at Marine Stadium. The event provides a day of water-related activities along with entertainment, lunch and drinks for all families and volunteers. About 900 people — volunteers, staff, special needs children and their families — will converge on Marine Stadium that day.

Jody Campbell, volunteer chairman of the group’s board of directors, said, “Kid’s Day provides an escape for these families from the challenges that they endure daily caring for a child with special needs. For many of these children, this is a chance to get out of a hospital bed in exchange for a day on the beach with their families.”

Activities included boat and tube rides, surfboards, kayak rides, face painting and balloons by a dozen clowns, all in accordance with the child’s abilities. The children as well as the accompanying adults and siblings have a great time experiencing new activities for the day at the beach.

The volunteers say they head home with a great sense of reward from seeing the children’s reactions and the joy on the faces of these children having a fun day at the beach.

For more information about special involvement in the event, contact CSR Children’s Foundation by phone at 714-788-2516 or email jody@csrchildrensfoundation.org or visit the website at csrchildrensfoundation.org.

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