Seaside Heights Event Honors Wounded Warriors [AUDIO]
It started out as a "Day at the Beach" for Wounded Warriors and their families. But, in just three years, the event has grown in length and in participation.
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The idea was spawned by the Seaside Heights PBA Local 252 as a way to give back to the Wounded Warrior Project, and celebrate the dedication and sacrifices made by members of our armed forces.
"If it wasn't for these guys and women doing what they do for us, we would not be able to enjoy going to beach, doing the things we just kind of take for granted every day," explained Kevin Shouldis, a delegate for the PBA Local 252 and event coordinator.
The first year was a one day event that gave the warriors and family free access to the beach, followed by food, ceremonies, and hotel accommodations, all of which are donated by local businesses. Since then, every aspect of the event has grown in size.
"The first year we had, maybe 20 warriors, including their families," he said, "And we've grown in size from 20 to 100 right now."
This year's version begins on Friday, July 13th and runs through Sunday the 15th. Once again, beach access will be provided, along with various catered events, ride and waterpark tickets, a bonfire, boat rides, and hotel accommodations for the weekend.
The "Day at the Beach" has been a big hit with the Wounded Warriors.
"They seem to really enjoy it. And from my understanding, there's kind of like a waiting list," Shouldis said.
Shouldis credits the slew of local businesses who have donated time, resources and services, along with Seaside Heights' cooperation, and the help of volunteers with really getting the now yearly event off the ground.
With such rapid growth in a short span, the goal is to keep building on this annual event to honor as many Wounded Warriors as possible.
"Let's give back to the people who take care of us," he urged.
Shouldis says volunteers are always welcome, as our patrons who would like to just come out just to give their thanks to the warriors. He can be reached at Seaside Heights Police Headquarters at 732-793-1800.
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