Community supports construction of a more handicap accessible beach

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Borough and county officials gathered at Elks Beach last week to recognize the Manasquan Elks for their collaboration with MOCEANS Center for Independent Living, and AccessRec to create a more handicap accessible beach. Funding for the project came from the Elks as well as members of the community. PHOTO BY MARK R. SULLIVAN

MANASQUAN — Thanks to donations from the community, Manasquan Elks Lodge 2534 has been able to raise more than $15,000 to enhance handicap accessibility at Elks Beach.

The beach now features a walkway and patio area made up of hard surface tiles, installed by Manasquan Beach staff. Enough money was also raised to purchase an additional surf chair, which helps handicap and wheelchair bound patrons enjoy the beach.

“We’re very proud to help the community, and I think we brought to the Elks Handicap Beach a more modern, easily accessible area,” Elks Past Exalted Ruler Melissa Colvin said.

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The Elks began fundraising for the project after AccessRec, a manufacturer and supplier of ADA-compliant beach access equipment, and MOCEANS Center for Independent Living reached out to the lodge last fall with the idea to enhance beach access in Manasquan.

The lodge and the borough participated in MOCEANS’ SurfSide Beach Accessibility Project to create the new, hard surface beach at Elks Beach.

MOCEANS, based in Long Branch, is a 501[c][3] nonprofit organization with a mission to “promote public awareness and barrier-free access in the community,” according to its website.

The Elks began the fund drive by donating $3,000 toward the project. The lodge’s donation was bolstered by a $5,000 contribution from the Elks Special Children’s Committee.

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