Jerry Conway out on the Navesink off Rumson last Sunday, warming up for this weekend’s event. (Click to enlarge)

Done1He’s got a bum shoulder, but that won’t stop Jerry Conway.

Twice in the past two years, the Middletown resident and devoted paddle-boarder has taken on big, open-water challenges to raise money for a cause that’s dear to him: the health of Kevin Kret, a Middletown man who’s been in a coma since a skateboarding accident in July, 2009.

Two years ago, Conway participated in paddle race from Catalina Island to Manhattan Beach, California. Last year, he was part of a team that paddled the Atlantic Ocean along the entire New Jersey coast – about 130 miles over eight days.

So far, he’s raised $25,000 for Kret’s care and for innovative injured-brain research. Conway also paddles to raise awareness about helmet safety.

On Saturday, Conway, 51, and his 19-year-old son Luke, will take on a lesser challenge in our beautiful Navesink River. But it’s lesser, at about 12 miles, only because Conway’s going in for surgery next month to replace his right shoulder.

“I needed to drastically reduce the distance and training due to my physical limitations,” he tells redbankgreen.

The Conways, joined in the early going by several kayakers and stand-up paddlers, including Jerry’s wife, Liz, plan depart from Rumson’s Victory Park at about 7:30 a.m.

They’ll head east toward Sea Bright, turn around and travel the length of the Navesink to the Route 35/Cooper Bridge. Conway guesses he’ll be passing Marine Park in Red Bank somewhere around 11:30 am., should any lingering runners from the post-Sheehan Classic race be on the lookout.

At the end of the paddle, plans call for the Conways to be greeted as they return to Victory Park by Kevin Kret, who will be on a raft, and his family. That should be around 12:30 p.m., if conditions cooperate, Conway says.

Want to contribute? Send a check made out to the International Brain Research Foundation and mail it to:

Paddling for Kevin Kret 2013
c/o Jerry Conway
744 Nut Swamp Road
Red Bank, NJ 07701