On Virginia Beach, a new park called Grommet Island Park is being created to allow the disabled, adults, children, and the elderly to be able to play together. It allows for people in wheelchairs and nearly any disability to enjoy a day on the beach. The park contains waves and sand tables, a rock wall, slides, a sensory wall for young or old people with autism, and much more. Grommet Island Park is the first ever fully handicapped accessible park built on a beach.
Bruce Thompson was the mastermind behind the idea. His inspiration came from his son, Josh Thompson, a surfer who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease in 2006. After taking Josh’s two sons to the beach and realizing how difficult, if not impossible it was for someone in Josh’s condition or any other disability to enjoy the beach, he decided to make a difference. So he began the plans for the beach front park with over $2 million dollars in donations for the project, half of which will be donated to ALS research.
The “Grommet” in Grommet Island Park is a slang term for surfer.
The park is scheduled to have its grand opening on May 28, 2010.