Locals raising money for beach access mats to help people who struggle walking

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For many, the beach is a vacation spot and a place to relax, but for people who have trouble walking, the sand can be a daunting obstacle. That's why people like Jim Stanton and Leslie Peaden are supporting "Dogs for a Cause" in Atlantic Beach where hot dogs are being sold to raise money for beach access mats.

"Folks come down here to spend their vacations and we need to make a way for them to get out and experience our beautiful beach and ocean," Peaden says.

Stanton agrees, saying, "The fact that they are in a wheel chair shouldn't inhibit them from doing the things that they want to do, certainly enjoying our beautiful beach"

Realty World First Coast Realty Marketing Director, Christine Chadwick, says many of her co-workers feel the same way and that's why they're raising money through donations for the mats.

"These beach mats are good for folks that are handicapped, that are in wheelchairs that can't get out on the beach, elderly people, people with children that have strollers, or they're great for whenever the sand is hot and you just want to walk on the mat down versus on the sand," she says.

Chadwick says they're hoping to raise $5,800 in order to buy nearly 260 feet of beach access mats, which will be located at the public access point near Davis' Beachwear.

Beach-goer Dalton Anderson is all for the cause. "I think it'd be nice to put the mats out there for people, whether it benefits me or not, but it'll benefit somebody."

Chadwick says they raised $685 Friday at their first event, but they'll be holding "Dogs for a Cause" each month until they reach their goal. However, the location for the event will alternate between their Atlantic Beach and Beaufort offices.

Chadwick says the mats are also a portable and removable roll-out access points that can be used to benefit a multitude of beach-goers.