HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - It's a picture-perfect late summer Saturday, a perfect day to be down the Shore, cooling off in the backyard pool, sipping cool drinks or grilling burgers and dogs with family and friends
But there's no time to relax for members of the Rotary Club of Hillsborough.
Instead, they're hosting a party like no other for special needs children and adults and their families - and there's no place they'd rather be.
The Rotarians are in the midst of their annual Rotary Fair, the primary fund raiser for the service organization. The six-day fair grosses several hundred thousand dollars, every penny of which is put back into the community in the form of scholarships, charitable donations to non-profits and other service organizations - and Saturday afternoon's day at the fair.
Everything was free - admission, food and drinks and unlimited access to all the rides and amusements. The Rotary paid for the burgers and dogs served by the Rotary Club of Dunellen and Green Brook; other food vendors gave up their afternoon to work, donating pizza and other food.
Majestic Midway Amusements and Paladin Amusements also donated their time and the rides.
Hillsborough Rotarian Ken Genco, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker, donated commemorative t-shirts to the more than 800 special guests.
"It's a fun thing to do for the community," said Anthony Franchini, president of the Rotary Club of Hillsborough. "The kids love it, and for us, it's very fulfilling. The parents can't thank us enough, at the end of the day they tell us how much they appreciate it."
The Rotary Fair will reopen at 6 p.m. Saturday to the general public, and will be open until 11 p.m.
The highlight of the night will be a fireworks show, scheduled for 9:15 p.m.
Closing day is Sunday when the fair will be open from 2-7 p.m.
Both nights are Wristband Nights; the pay-one-price of $30 covers unlimited rides and amusements.