By JOE SAPIA
NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP – In 2004, Jason Petillo Jr. of Neptune died at birth of congenital heart disease.
“This is something close to my heart,” said his father, Jason Sr.
So, Petillo Sr. organized the upcoming Shark River Row for Congenital Heart Disease Awareness.
It is scheduled for June 7 at 6 p.m. at the Shark River Hills Marina, South Riverside Drive, Neptune.
The inaugural event is to have two courses:
— A five-mile course for surf-skis and rowboats of all styles.
— A four-mile course for kayaks, canoes and paddleboards.
The idea of the event is simply “to raise awareness” of CHD, said Petillo, who is a Neptune police detective.
“I’m not looking for handouts, donations,” Petillo said. “It’s not really a fund-raiser, per se.”
The idea is for participants to wear shirts bringing awareness to CHD and to event sponsor, the Nicholas Leather Heart2Heart Foundation.
Nicholas of Avon died of CHD at 7-1/2-weeks-old in 2001.
The foundation raises awareness of CHD and raises funds for CHD causes. Donations can be made to the foundation, P.O. Box 113, Avon, 07717; telephone number is 732-298-3643; email is Heart2HeartNick@aol.com.
The Shark River Row is being funded by various sponsors.
More information on the event is available from telephone number 732-496-1172, email firstname.lastname@example.org or website www.sharkriverrow.com. Life-preservers are recommended for participants, Petillo said.
Above – Sharkriverrow.com photo.