Beach safety gears up with $3.5K grant

Satellite Beach Fire Department’s water rescue unit has received a $3,500 grant through Surfing’s Evolution and Preservation Foundation, founded in July 2008 by Ron and Lynne DiMenna.

Ron DiMenna, founder and owner of Ron Jon Surf Shop, was inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 1998.

In May 2010, the Endless Summer Specialty License plate, created by the foundation, went on sale in Florida. Proceeds from the sale of the plate and related merchandise are a source of foundation grant funding. The grants are focused on keeping the beaches safe and healthy by supporting the programs and events of other organizations that support beaches/oceans and promote education on beach safety, coastal pollution and beach ecology, according to the foundation website.

Satellite Beach firefighter/paramedics Darron Pelecki and Nick Walsh wrote the successful proposal for a $3,500 grant for miscellaneous water rescue safety gear.

Items to be purchased with the money include equipment for each of about seven total team members such as bins, vests, wet suits, Pelecki said. “We have the four-wheeler and the jet ski. It was time to start getting some more supplies. This gets us established.”

The Satellite Beach grant proposal was a good fit for the foundation, said foundation administrator Stacey Kirby.

“A part of our charitable focus is to provide funds to support beach safety – we were happy to provide funds to support our first responders in their mission to ensure the safety of our citizens and visitors.” Kirby said.

Surfing’s Evolution and Preservation Foundation also provides funds for the provision of lifeguards on high-risk beaches and funds to organizations that house the history and artifacts of surfing to promote the sport through exhibits, lectures and events.

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