SURVEYOR, WV (WVNS) — Every Summer, Lake Stephens beach fills with parents soaking up the sun and kids playing in the water, with lifeguards keeping watch.
“In the past, lifeguards have walked the beach,” said Molly Williams, Executive Director of Raleigh County Parks and Recreation.
But in past years, they weren’t able to see the water from a bird’s eye view. They would sit on towels and watch from the ground. Raleigh County Commissioner Ron Hedrick saw the need for safety, and started thinking.
“We decided that we wanted to make it more like the beach at Myrtle Beach or whatever, where they are up elevated, and high enough to see the kids out there swimming for their safety,” Hedrick said.
Hedrick collected the materials and got a group of volunteers together. They built four lifeguard chairs to be put on the beach at Lake Stephens. Williams thinks it will make the beach much safer for children swimming.
“You’ll be able to see their movements better. You’ll be able to get signs of distress or struggling swimmers, at a higher vantage point. If you add that with polarized sunglasses, than they will have a great view of our patrons,” Williams said.
It will also hopefully attract more parents and caregivers to bring their kids to the beach.
“If we can give those people that love to go to Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach a little taste of that back home, without the waves of course, we are going to do what it can,” Hedrick said.
Building these chairs was a community effort. 84 Lumber donated the materials for the chairs. Fastenal donated the hardware to put the chairs together. And Gun Smoke Indoor Pistol Range donated warehouse space for the chairs to be built in.
Joe Camp is an area manager for 84 Lumber Company.
“Anytime we have the opportunity to give something back, it’s really a no brainer. We do our best to help whenever its possible so that part was easy,” Camp said.
The chairs were presented to Lake Stephens Staff Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 84 Lumber.