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Bottoms Up in Belmar

True, our beach days may be numbered, but you wouldn’t know it last weekend. Droves of people flocked to Jersey’ beaches for just one more shot at the shore. Belmar was no exception, but its events on Sunday and Monday were indeed exceptional. The 7th Street Beach on Sunday mirrored Maui as dozens of surfers, beach patrol, and an endless sea of spectators arrived for the beach’s annual Surf Camp and Beach Bash for Autistic Children. Sponsored by the Autism Family Services of New Jersey, the beach drew in over 5,000 people who enjoyed music, dancing, informational booths, and, of course, surfing, not to mention ideal weather!

Surfer’s Healing, a non-profit organization that aims to enrich the lives of autistic children and their families by exposing them to the joy of surfing, handled the surfing aspect. It was breathtaking to witness children forget their fears and truly transform as they caught their first wave. A once-small event that catered to 50 or 60 children, this year saw almost 200 kids in the ocean. The day went off without a hitch and it wouldn’t have happened without the endless volunteers in the water and those who dotted the beach, handling crowd control, trophies, and logistics. After a full day in the sun and salt air the volunteers, the brave moms and dads, and especially the kids who braved the waves deserved a standing ovation, but they’ll have to settle for a toast. Which brings us to our weekly wine pick:

Longboard Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, $19 This Sauvignon Blanc is soothing after a day in the sun. It’s got soft acidity so your mouth is watering but you won’t be puckered up like a fish. Speaking of, this luscious white works with all things from the ocean–think briny oysters and lots of sushi here.

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