New Beachwheels Chairs Donated in Memory of Jenna Marie Hill

Jan 09, 2019
Supplied Photo

When her family visited Long Beach Island in the summers, Jenna Marie Hill was able to feel the sand, and also the ocean water, because of Long Beach Township’s Beachwheels program, which offers surf chairs to vacationers free of charge.

Sadly, Hill passed away in 2017, at 24 years old. This winter, in her memory, Hill’s mother, JoAnn Novello Hill, donated $28,000 to the municipality for the purchase of new chairs – ensuring access to the beach for many other individuals who might otherwise not have that chance.

LBT’s Beachwheels program was begun in 1992, the same year, coincidentally, that Jenna Marie Hill was born. The program, which is overseen by the township beach patrol, is one of the largest beach wheelchair programs in the country.

The donation from the Hill family allowed the municipality to purchase 10 new chairs – made from lightweight PVC tubing and with oversized wheels that can handle terrain such as sand. This will bring the total number of chairs in the township to 55.

“We’re very thankful for this generous donation,” said Mayor Joseph Mancini. “The great thing about this is that these chairs are always used. And without them, some people would be unable to visit the beach.”

Anyone staying at a township address is eligible to reserve a chair at no charge. They are available for those who are disabled, injured or have a hard time walking to the beach. The municipality has chairs sized for children and for adults, and even one that is specifically designed for fishing.

Reservations for the Beachwheels chairs should be made well in advance, as there is a demand for them –as everyone, of course, is drawn to the ocean.

For more information on Beachwheels, visit lbtbp.com/programs/beach-wheels or call 609-361-1200. —J.K.-H.

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