By MADDY VITALE
Chris and Andrea Monihan of Ocean City are honoring their little girl, Renee Parker Monihan, who at just 3 1/2 lost her life in a tragic accident last year.
The Monihans will continue to keep their daughter forever in their hearts as well as in the hearts of others and help other children in the process.
The couple established The Renee Parker Monihan Foundation. Donations to the fund go to Shore Medical Center in Somers Point and The Renee Parker Monihan Early Childhood Endowment Fund at the Milton & Betty Katz JCC in Margate. The Monihan’s 3-year-old daughter, Maren, goes to JCC for preschool. It is also where Renee attended school.
On Thursday, TJ Heist, owner of Totally Tubular Aqua Park at 228 Bay Ave. in Ocean City, is hosting “Nene’s Day on the Bay,” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $35 for kids ages six and up.
Heist, who is a longtime family friend of the Monihans, said he wanted to do something to help the worthy cause.
All of the Aqua Park sessions will directly support the foundation.
“The Monihans are family friends of ours. We’ve known them forever. What happened was a tragedy. Everyone wants to help any way they can,” Heist said Monday. “We are hoping to raise money to jump-start the foundation. It should be a fun day for an important cause.”
To book a spot click the link below: https://fareharbor.com/embeds/book/totallytubularwatersports/items/74866/?full-items=yes&flow=37976
Renee was killed on Nov. 13, 2021, when she was struck by a vehicle in her Ocean City neighborhood while taking a walk with her family.
Renee’s obituary described a bit of what she loved.
“She loved playing with her sister Maren, her cousins, and neighbors on her street, riding her bike, and swimming. Wonderful days were spent with her family on the Seaspray Road beach, at the North Street playground, and in their boat. Summer was her happiest time of the year.”
Chris Monihan said that his daughter’s love for the outdoors and the water made “Nene’s Day on the Bay,” seem like a wonderful idea for the first official fundraiser in her name through the couple’s new foundation.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Monihans teamed up with other local families, including Julie and Christian Bickings, for a sign campaign to raise funds for Shore Medical Center’s frontline workers. They sold signs that their children created with rainbows and handprints.
“We raised $20,000 for the hospital back then,” Chris noted. “Obviously, we utilize the hospital and we thought that would be a good place to donate to in memory of our daughter.”
Chris said that he and his family were extremely grateful for the outpouring of support and generosity after they suffered such a great loss.
“After my daughter was killed, the outpouring from the community was incredible. We raised more than $100,000 in donations for Shore,” he pointed out. “Next year, we may do a golf outing. Proceeds will continue to go to Shore Medical Center and the JCCC.”
Maren turned 3 on Aug. 20, just months younger than her sister was when she lost her life. Renee would have been 4 years old and 3 1/2 months now.
Though Renee Parker Monihan is gone, her parents are making sure that their daughter’s memory will continue to be in the hearts and minds of others.
She will be in the minds of people who never even knew her, but whose lives she will have touched through the donations from the foundation set up by her parents in her name.
The girl’s beautiful, but short life, will remain in the memory of others and her foundation will help hundreds — thousands along the way — with donations raised through the generosity of a community and the strength of her parents.
For anyone who cannot attend “Nene’s Day on the Bay,” they can donate directly to Shore by clicking here: https://shoremedicalcenter.org/new-pediatric-emergency-specialty-care-room-shore-medical-center-memory-renee-parker-monihan