PHOTO CAPTION: Members of the Rotary Club of Hillsborough and OAR join together to cut the ribbon for the Annual Family Fun Day
The 2022 annual Rotary Fair continued a very special Rotary tradition – a dedicated afternoon for special needs children and their families. The invitation-only event was held from 1 PM to 4 PM on Saturday, August 20th. The “Fun Day,” which included games, rides, and food, was free of charge to approximately 700 special needs children and their families.
A tradition since 2013, Family Fun Day is devoted to special needs families. The fair is closed to the general public in order to give the families all the space and time they need to enjoy the day at their own pace.
“As a Rotarian and Mayor of Hillsborough Township, it is our honor to be able to offer this event for our special needs community. Seeing all of their smiling faces and the enjoyment shared with their families is truly heartwarming,” commented Mayor Shawn Lipani.
“Ten years ago I approached the Rotary Club of Hillsborough about offering a day to local special needs families. As a long time Board Member of OAR (Organization for Autism Research)and special needs advocate, I thought, what beer way to offer an inclusive event for the community?” added Hillsborough Township Administrator and OAR NJ President, Anthony Ferrera.
“We receive some of the most touching thank-you leers from the families of special needs children who have aended the Fun Day,” commented Rotary Club of Hillsborough President, Ashley Rose. “The parents tell us that being able to have a fun
 afternoon out with their special needs children and their siblings in an inclusive, non-judgmental environment is a rare and welcomed break from their routine.”
The Hillsborough Rotary Fair and Business Expo – the Club’s premier annual fundraiser - aracted over 15,000 community members from Hillsborough and surrounding towns, allowing the Club to raise the funds to support numerous local service organizations and projects throughout the year.
“Our continuing local support would not be possible without the generosity of our fellow community members. Not only do we rely on the funds that result from their aendance at the Fair, but their volunteerism enables us to run the Fair,” added President Rose. “As a result of that support, we had another record-breaking year!”
At this year’s Fair, the Rotary Club of Hillsborough introduced a brand-new feature – an interactive digital map. Developed and donated by Pinnacle Health and Fitness in Hillsborough specifically for use at the Fair, the interactive map enabled Fair aendees to load an app onto their smartphones by scanning a QR code posted around the fairgrounds. The digital map not only allowed guests to find the exact location of every ride, game, food vendor and Business Expo participant at the Fair, but also provided helpful information and promotional offers from Fair vendors and Business Expo participants.
As always, the Fair featured classic thrill rides, food vendors, games of chance, an exposition of local businesses and a spectacular firework display by Interstate Fireworks and sponsored by Petrock’s Bar & Grille and Petrock’s Liquors.