New Jersey

New Jersey  is the founding chapter of Best Day, started by Alexis and Lake Downham.

We typically host 6-8 beach events per year.

Serving New Jersey and surrounding areas including New York and Pennsylvania with beach based events from Long Branch to Brick and snow events in New York.

Our events include:

  • Beach obstacle course
  • Tandem surfing
  • Body-boarding
  • Kayaking
  • SUP

We would love to have you join us as a participant family or volunteer. Please choose the appropriate link to the left to sign up. We also encourage you to follow us via our social media accounts using the links above so you can keep up with all the fun Best Day has in store.

Our Founding Chapter Established in 2008

Events Held
Kids Served
Volunteer Hours Served
Smiles Created


Services & Support

  • Media Professional to help with PR
  • Fund-raising/Grant writer
  • Experienced photographers to shoot our events


  • 2 Beach Wheelchairs cost $2400 ea
  • 2+ Popup tents

Meet Our Team

  • Tricia Henkes
    Tricia Henkes NJ Co-chairperson & Participant Coordinator

    “Tricia and her family volunteered at one of the very first Best Day Foundation events held in New Jersey and she was immediately hooked. Tricia and John continue to dedicate themselves to help this chapter grow. She loves spending her summers experiencing the magic and positive impact Best Day has on both the volunteers and participants.”

  • Jennifer Steffener
    Jennifer Steffener NJ Co-chairperson & Operations Coordinator

    Jennifer experienced Best Day Foundation’s healing and transformative influence the first time she volunteered. She witnessed every smile and wave ridden melting the hearts of volunteers and participants alike. As a lifelong water woman who loves being of service, she was hooked. She’s grateful to be a part of an organization that inspires a diverse group of people to share joy together, lend a helping hand, and encourage and support one another.

  • John Henkes
    John Henkes NJ Co-chairperson & Water Teams Coordinators

    “Through the Best Day Foundation, I am able to share my love of surfing and the water with all of our participants and volunteers. I truly cherish being a part of something that brings joy to so many.”

  • KC Yoon
    KC Yoon Participant Coordinator

    “KC is a Red Sox loving Jersey girl (they exist). She is a teacher who loves to spend her summers at the beach, especially on Best Day weekends. She is thankful to be part of Best Day along with her husband-to-be, Paul.”

  • Paul Podesla
    Paul Podesla Fundraising Coordinator

    “Best Day is a blessing for all involved. Taking in the smiles from the kids and their families on the beach is indescribable, a day that truly lives up to its name!”

  • Cori Mezzacappa
    Cori Mezzacappa Volunteer Coordinator

    Best Day is about smiles, laughter, selflessness, teamwork & family.  The joy that radiates from the volunteers & participants faces is just priceless and unforgettable. It keeps me coming back for more.

  • Mike Zichelli
    Mike Zichelli Treasurer

    “I love the ocean and sharing it with others.  Best Day is one of my favorite things to do with my family.  We cannot decide who smiles more, us or the kids.”

Special Thanks to our Generous Supporters

Contact Us

Thanks for connecting with us! We are a volunteer organization so sometimes it might take a day or two for us to respond.

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