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Jay VanVechten

Jay Van Vechten has been a full time resident of Boca Raton since 1997. His family settled in the community in 1970. Jay spent his 40 year career in the public relations and marketing communications business in New York City. His company was among the top 30 independently owned and operated firms in the nation, with clients that included Johnson & Johnson, Hearst Publishing, New York State tourism, Tylenol, Miss Universe, Inc., the American Dental Association and Acu-Vue Contact Lenses. Disabilities changed Jay’s life when he was critically injured in a fall in 2001. Two years later he joined the City of Boca Raton Disability Advisory Board, which he went on to chair for two years. That board was recently disbanded by the city. In 2008 Jay approached the city about starting the Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities. Initially a city-driven and supported event, the city withdrew its sponsorship of the event three years later and relinquished control to Jay and his team of volunteers. The group went on to create the largest free, fun-day in the nation for kids, adults and wounded warriors. Held each March in Spanish River Park, the award winning Bash now attracts 5,000 guests annually and is supported by 500 volunteers drawn from every sector of the community. Jay and his wife Lowell have one son, Nicholas, a Triage Medic in the US Army.