The Historic town of Ocean Grove is now asking for donations from the town's residents and anyone else listening, to help with the costs of building back the boardwalk so it can be ready on time for Memorial Day.
Since Ocean Grove is governed by the Cape Meeting Association, from what I understand, there's a separation of church and state. So FEMA is not helping Ocean Grove rebuild its boardwalk, fishing pier, gazebo, some of the railing structure that twisted and bent completely out of shape during the superstorm, or anything else that has to do with Camp Meeting Property.
At the present time, volunteers have come into Ocean Grove and have been lifting up the damaged boards, those rearranged and unleveled by Sandy's might and the ocean's surge. They are endeavoring to fix the understructure so the boards can be placed back on a solid surface, making walking, running, riding a bike on the boards safe for everyone.
But only yesterday I heard that the town directly south of Ocean Grove, Bradley Beach will receive FEMA money to the tune of $6.6 million dollars to restore Bradley Beach. But that's only 75 per cent of what it's going to cost to restore their boardwalk, railings, gazebo, and plenty of other structures damaged. So the town came up with an idea that I'd like to share and maybe the other towns along the Jersey Shore will implement this idea.
Why not buy a board? When I heard this, I said, "This is a great idea." Mind you, Bradley Beach thought they'd make 50,000 or $100,000 selling boards. To date, from a good source, Bradley Beach has made $400,000 from its residents and others interested in buying a board and having a family name placed on the board in remembrance.
I know lots of people in Ocean Grove who would go for this idea in a big way. Those I know have all purchased benches with family's name on a placques screwed on to the back of the bench. Why not on a board that we'll see every day when taking a walk on our favorite boardwalk?
I can see the same happening with the benches again. The one I purchase in my mother's memory on the fishing pier is long gone floating out in the ocean somewhere. While some of the benches survived, many were destroyed during Sandy. I'm sure there will be some interested purchasers of benches. I know I'm one of them. .
If we put our heads together, we can make summer of 2013 happen at the Jersey Shore.