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Pavilion at Wades Beach opens for summer

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO The ribbon was cut by Supervisor Gary Gerth to open the a pavilion at Wades Beach Tuesday, a gift from the Shelter Island Lions Club Foundation. From left, Councilman Jim Colligan, Councilwoman Amber Brach-Williams, Mr. Gerth, Councilman Paul shepherd, Councilman Albert Dickson and Lions Club member Don D’Amato.

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO The ribbon was cut by Supervisor Gary Gerth to open the a pavilion at Wades Beach Tuesday, a gift from the Shelter Island Lions Club Foundation. From left, Councilman Jim Colligan, Councilwoman Amber Brach-Williams, Mr. Gerth, Councilman Paul Shepherd, Councilman Albert Dickson and Lions Club member Don D’Amato.

A handsome addition to the Island’s shoreline that will bring summer’s fun to senior citizens and people with disabilities was opened just in time for Memorial Day.

At a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday at Wades Beach, attended by town officials and members of the community, an open-air pavilion measuring 20 feet by 14 feet, and a curving concrete pathway to the nearby bathhouse, was presented to the community.

The new facility is a gift from the Shelter Island Lions Club Foundation, which footed the approximately $20,000 cost. Island architect Pamela Pospisil worked on the project pro bono.

The town also contributed to the effort that will allow the elderly and people with disabilities to join in family fun and have a day at the beach. The Highway Department donated all materials and labor to construct the foundation and the walkway.

In addition, the Senior Citizens Foundation of Shelter Island is donating $5,000 for the construction of benches within the pavilion.

Spearheading the project for the Lions Club was Don D’Amato who, along with the club and the town, brought the new structure in just in time for summer 2018.

The project was part of the local Lions Club chapter’s participation in the national organization’s “Centennial Celebration.” To honor the club’s founding in June 1917, individual chapters around the world offered “permanent improvements” for the communities that they serve, Mr. D’Amato said.

The pavilion fits the bill, he added, since there are elderly residents and those in wheelchairs who have difficulty walking on sand or sitting in the sun and the new facility allows them to be close to the beach, yet relax in the shade.

Barbara Silverstone, president of the Senior Citizens Foundation, told the gathering that one of the group’s missions is to “provide accessibility to private and public spaces,” and the pavilion is a perfect example of that goal becoming reality.

“This will benefit so many people,” Ms. Silverstone said.

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