Ocean County beach to become handicapped-accessible thanks to advocates

     (L to R): Beach Days for All's Chris Aldrich, Seaside Park Public Works Director Eric Wojciechowski, Beach Days for All's Jessica Krill, Joseph Wright of Matrax, Inc., Seaside Park Councilman Ray Amabile, and Seaside Park Borough Administrator Bob Martucci stand in front of a Seaside Park beach.

    (L to R): Beach Days for All's Chris Aldrich, Seaside Park Public Works Director Eric Wojciechowski, Beach Days for All's Jessica Krill, Joseph Wright of Matrax, Inc., Seaside Park Councilman Ray Amabile, and Seaside Park Borough Administrator Bob Martucci stand in front of a Seaside Park beach.

    An Ocean County woman’s “beach days for all” vision will soon become a reality.

    For years, Beachwood resident Jessica Krill has been advocating the importance of integration. But it wasn’t until June that the mother of two special needs children realized that local beaches are not accessible enough.

    “Spending a day on the beach isn’t easy for most with physical handicaps,” she says.

    Since early this summer, when Krill first told the Jersey Shore Hurricane News community about her grassroots mission, the floodgates of media coverage, moral support, and donations have come her way and to her newly formed federally recognized non-profit organization, Beach Days for All, that she formed with Chris Aldrich, a Jackson resident who is also an Ocean County Fire Coordinator.

    On Thursday night, the Seaside Park Council unanimously approved a fully handicapped-accessible beach at North Avenue in the barrier island municipality.

    What makes it even sweeter for Krill, she says, is that Seaside Park is her hometown.

    She says the work needed to make the beach fully accessible should be done within two weeks, and she anticipates that Seaside Park will host a grand opening.

    Joseph Wright of Matrax, Inc. will donate the materials and work. Krill says one accessibility mat will extend 75 feet toward the water and then branch out into a few “Ts” for approximately 50 feet.

    Krill’s ultimate plan is to have the donated five beach wheelchairs and five reclining wheelchairs at the beach daily. She says her organization already has the wheelchairs but it’s a matter of where they’ll be stored, adding that a generous donor has offered to build 15 wheelchairs for Beach Days for All. 

    “I do not want families to have to worry about calling and reserving a wheelchair. That’s just another step in this challenging game of getting to the beach,” Krill added.

    In a little more than a month, her vision will become a reality, but her mission continues to deliver accessibility for everyone “one beach at a time.”

    “Thank you for believing in my vision,” she says to the public.

    Beach Days for All is accepting donations that will fund the purchase of additional wheelchairs. Follow them on Facebook by clicking here.

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