Kechi Flies In To Perform Two Sets And Give Hugs At Annual Boating & Beach Bash For People With Disabilities, Locals Sing And Support At The Event


By: David DiPino Contributing Writer

Kechi Okwuchi says performing for kids gives her energy.

It’s one of the main reasons she cleared her schedule to fly in from Houston, Texas for this year’s Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities recently held at Spanish River Park in Boca Raton.

Okwuchi performed two sets at the Bash, which Jay H. Van Vechten, Executive Director, calls “the largest family-fun day in the nation for people with special needs.”

At the free Bash, guests enjoyed boat rides on the Intracoastal Waterway, a complimentary BBQ Lunch and activities sponsored by numerous South Florida based businesses.

“Jay reached out to me through emails. I flew in from Houston, Texas for the weekend and I’m glad I did because this was great turnout and amazing event for people with disabilities,” Okwuchi said. “After I talked with Jay, I wanted to be a part of the Bash. Meeting him in person he’s like a big teddy bear. I’m really glad things worked out. The kids here give me a lot of energy. There have been a lot of hugs. My favorite part of the Bash was performing for the kids and feeling their energy all the way up on the stage.”

Van Vechten said the Bash was designed to appeal to children, teens, adults and Wounded Warriors.

Landing a star as bright as Okwuchi was quite a feat for Van Vechten, who also invited up-and-coming local performers. Okwuchi was a finalist on the Twelfth Season of America’s Got Talent in 2017.

Okwuchi is also widely known in world news as being one of two survivors from Sosoliso Airlines Flight 1145 which crashed on December 10, 2005 at Port Harcourt International Airport in Omagwa, Nigeria. A total of 108 people died in the fiery crash landing due to a missed approach due to pilot error aggravated by wind shear. She suffered burns across most of her face and body.

Kendra Erika, a singer, songwriter and recording artist who calls Boca Raton home, performed a rousing and sizzling five-song set at the Bash of her original songs Enamorada, Fire On Water, Point to The Sky, Letting Go and her latest hit Sublime.

“All those songs I wrote. I was so happy to be part of this event. I know Jay and he is a very humble and generous person,” Erika said.

Katherine Magnoli, Miss Wheelchair Florida 2017 and a Sunny Isles Beach resident, said she loved attending this year’s event. Magnolia was showcasing her “The Adventures of KatGirl” books at the Bash.

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