- Published on Tuesday, 02 July 2013 00:14
- Written by Super User
Island Women is a local nonprofit group of women with a mission to improve the quality of life on the island for residents and guest. They are involved in several projects to help in their endeavors.
One of their projects is the Beach Wheelchair Project, and the goal is to make it easier for those that cannot walk easily in the sand to enable them to have access to the beach. There were some chairs available but it was not enough to meet supply and demand of those in need.
The group then bought about 200 yard flamingos and created a fundraiser. What would happen was that you would wake up and there would be a flock of these birds in your front yard, they would move once a donation was received. They “flocked” people throughout the island moving the birds from yard to yard for eight weeks. During that period of time, they received donations totaling more than $20,000 and with help from Carolina Beach Town Council and grants they were able buy 10 new all-terrain wheelchairs.
Pleasure Island now has a total of 18 wheelchairs; there are three at Fort Fisher State Park, five at Kure Beach and 10 at Carolina Beach and all are free to use. All you would have to do is call and the chairs would be made available for you to use. At Fort Fisher, call 910-458-5798; Kure Beach Fire Department call 910-458-5798 and at Carolina Beach Recreational Center, call 910-458-2977.
The all-terrain wheelchairs were designed by Persistent Fabrication Corp., a fabrication company, and were designed to be functional and user friendly while being sturdy enough to withstand daily use in a resort environment. Both the frame and upholstery are UV protected and the upholstery is fire retardant as well. All the hardware used on the chairs is either plastic, aluminum or stainless steel for corrosion resistance. The wheels and tires were chosen for their all-terrain capability.
In Carolina Beach, Simon Saunders, head of Ocean Rescue, is working on closing the bottom of six lifeguard stands so six of the beach wheelchair can be housed at the bottom of the beach handicap accessible ramps. You will still need to check out the chairs through the recreational center, but soon you will be able to pick them up at the beach.
Lacy Ford, member of Island Women, is working hard to continue to bring awareness of this free service. They are still accepting donations for the Beach Wheelchair Project, for maintenance, the city to maintain and other utilities needed. You can donate by logging in their website at islandwomen.org or by mailing to Island Women, P.O. Box 1212, Carolina Beach, NC 28428. Make check payable to Island Women, and in the memo line print Beach Wheelchair Project. Like them on Facebook and you will be able to follow them with what progresses that are being made with their projects and what events that they are holding.