Michelle Chase and sister Becky McGill paddle with a member of the Unified Team
Long time Bacharach friends and supporters, Bruckner Chase and wife, Michelle, have been involved with Bacharach’s spinal cord support group for a number of years. Becky McGill, PT, who leads the group, is Michelle’s sister.
The couple has used Bruckner’s skills as an ocean athlete, surf lifesaver and a coach along with Michelle’s experience in program development around the world to create a local initiative to help members of the group get back into the water. During the colder months, the group uses the pool at the Ocean City Community Center. During the summer, Bruckner, Michelle and the Blue Journey Unified Team hit the open water on prone paddle boards from the bay in Upper Township to Glisten Lake in Berlin.
With the help of friends and volunteers, the group meets once a week to experience the joy and freedom of being in the water.
The famous annual Molokai2Oahu paddleboard race had to be cancelled this year, due to the Corona Virus. But the race committee decided to open it up to anyone in the world who wanted to do a 16 mile paddleboard course, prone or stand up, solo or as a team effort. Their race motto this year was “Anyone, anywhere, anything goes!”
Bruckner knew the race director and reached out to see if his Unified Team could participate, and that is how a small group in Ocean City, NJ became part of a global water community participating in the legendary Molokai2Oahu paddleboard race.
Here is how Bruckner described race day.
“Beginning at approximately 4:00 PM in the bay behind Ocean City, Dawn and her brother-in-law will be the first to hit the water and beginning building mileage towards the Blue Journey Unified M2O Team Goal of 16 miles. Joining Dawn will be several other long time paddlers both with and without spinal cord injuries including Becky McGill, a Bacharach SCI Physical Therapist. Collectively we will celebrate the unifying family spirit of the Molokai 2 Oahu Global Event. Every paddler’s mileage will move us closer to the 16 mile total goal. One of the most experience paddlers in the group is Dawn Robinson. She has set inspiring mileage goals of her own and expects to paddle for 2 – 3 hours alongside others from our ocean community.”
Bruckner’s experience around the world as a waterman combined with his passion for helping everyone enjoy the pleasures of being in the water have made the Blue Journey Unified Team a wonderful success.
Said Bruckner to his Unified Team, “As you all begin your paddles over the next 24 hours don’t forget to remember how many people around the world are with you in spirit! Let the Virtual M2O weekend begin! Good luck to you all #AnythingGoes #HereWeGo. – https://www.facebook.com/molokai2oahu
Blue Journey Unified FB Page – https://www.facebook.com/Blue-Journey-Unified-975523719298490