Friday, September 22, 2023

Veterans Buy Beach Chairs For Disabled 5.24.2006

By Nick Colin

SEA ISLE CITY – Last August, local resident Stephen Sinak stood before the city commission complaining about the dilapidated beach wheel chairs.
He claimed that the PVC on the chairs were “completely broken and held together by duct tape” and that out of the 11 wheel chairs the city started with in the beginning of the summer, “only one chair was safe.”
Mayor Leonard Desiderio’s response was that “maybe something could be done by next year” and now, with the summer only weeks away, the mayor has made good on his word, thanks to the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapter 1963 and Commander Chick Hanes.
Hanes, who has been a member of the VFW since 1989, had asked Desiderio what the VFW could do for the city sometime last year.
Desiderio’s answer was to help get the city some working beach wheel chairs.
“The VFW does a lot for the community from helping with the Special Olympics to organizing kids’ athletics in the community, so we were glad to help,” explained Hanes, a Court House resident who served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1971 as a River Rat.
Hanes and the VFW organized fundraisers, raffles, and collected donations in order to raise funds for the chairs.
The first chair arrived in October.
“We ordered them from the same place (J-Mac Enterprises) that the other chairs came from at a cost of $1,495 a chair,” said Hanes.
According to Hanes, J-Mac offered the best price on the chairs.
Unlike the older chairs, which had to be assembled piece by piece, the new chairs came glued together.
Hanes believes that the pre-assembled chairs will be more durable and that the reason the older ones, which are over 10 years old, fell apart was because they had to be assembled by laymen.
The second chair arrived in February and two more are scheduled to be delivered to the city within the next couple of weeks.
 The VFW also plans to repair the old, ravaged chairs, which Hanes claims will be no problem.
“They’re mostly PVC pipe, which isn’t expensive, so it should be easy to replace broken pieces,” said Hanes.
Hanes was recognized for his “outstanding community service” at the last commissioners’ meeting May 9.
Contact Colin at: (609) 886-8600 ext. 35 or

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