Cox Industries is the latest company to lend a helping hand to the devastated New Jersey boardwalk. The wood manufacturer and distributor has donated lumber to help replace the two mile stretch of swing back benches, where visitors could take in sights of the ocean or adjacent shops and restaurants.
North American Wholesale Lumber Association (NAWLA) president Gary Vitale originally reached out to Cox's VP of Marketing, Keith Harris, to coordinate the effort. The donated lumber, totaling 12,000 board feet of pressure-treated wood, will replace a total of 275 benches.
"We have a facility in NJ and several of our employees and dozens of our largest customers were also seriously impacted by the storm," said Harris. "This small gift was a way for us to help return some normalcy to the area. Knowing what the area looked like after the storm, it was a very good feeling to visit mayor William Akers and see families relaxing on the benches and taking in the sights."
Both Cox Industries and NAWLA have personal ties to the New Jersey shore. Vitale spent his childhood vacations in the area, and besides the Cox facility in NJ, the general manager of its industrial division, Jim Healey, grew up near Seaside Heights.