MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. – City officials, community stakeholders and disability advocates will gather on Wednesday, April 6th at 10:00 a.m. to celebrate the installation of a new mobility mat at Archibald Park, donated to the City of Madeira Beach by the Forward Foundation.
According to the CDC, 1 in 7 adults in the U.S. struggles with mobility, which means for millions of Americans, getting onto a sandy beach is either incredibly difficult or simply impossible. Mobility mats are nonslip pathways that help people with mobility challenges avoid getting stuck in the soft, uneven sand, allowing them to access the beach safely and easily.
The $5,688.00 mobility mat was donated to the City of Madeira Beach by the Michael & Robin Lally Forward Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to supporting projects that advance human equality.
“Our community is excited to receive this generous donation from the Forward Foundation,” said Mayor John Hendricks, City of Madeira Beach. “It means that all, regardless of their physical abilities, can come enjoy the beauty of Madeira Beach.”
The Forward Foundation has offered to write a blank check to any beach-facing city in the Tampa Bay area interested in installing a mobility mat. Madeira Beach is the first city to take the Forward Foundation up on this offer, but the foundation hopes there will be many more to come.
“Our vision for Tampa Bay is to have the most accessible beaches in the world,” said Robin Lally, President of the Forward Foundation. “As a result of hard work and persistence from both city officials and dedicated advocates, we are one step closer to achieving this goal.”
The 42’ mobility mat, purchased from the brand MobiMat by the Forward Foundation and donated to the city, will be located at the end of the boardwalk at Archibald Park and will include a 25’ wing extending to the left. The mat is 6.5’ wide, allowing individuals with wheelchairs and powerchairs of all sizes to utilize the mat. Archibald Park is located at 15100 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708.
“We are very excited to begin utilizing an innovative beach product that allows the ability-impaired better and safer access to the Madeira Beach sand,” said Robin I. Gomez, Madeira Beach City Manager. “Residents and visitors will greatly benefit from this enhanced service that will also help protect our sand. The City of Madeira Beach is extremely thankful for our partners that contributed to the MobiMat’s success.”
Local advocates have been working to bring more mobility mats to area beaches for years, but funding has been a significant hurdle. MobiMat reps say the average cost to purchase and install one of their mobility mats ranges from $4,000-$20,000. With this obstacle out of the way, advocates say they hope more cities in our area take the Forward Foundation up on its offer.
Media members and the public are invited to a ribbon cutting for the new MobiMat on Wednesday, April 6th at 10:00 a.m. at Archibald Park, 15100 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708. Interviews and video opportunities will be available at the ribbon cutting. Please contact Robin Lally at email@example.com or call (727) 489-5885 to coordinate.
Madeira Beach MobiMat Specs:
- Location: Archibald Park, 15100 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708
- Size: 42’ long, 6.5’ wide with a 25’ wing extending to the south
- Cost: $5,688.00, donated to the City of Madeira Beach by the Forward Foundation
- Materials: MobiMats are made from 100% recycled materials
- Learn more about MobiMats here: http://bit.ly/AboutADAMobiMats
The Forward Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to fighting for human equality and animal rights, and empowering communities in the United States and around the globe. For more information or interview requests, contact President Robin Lally at (727) 489 – 5885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about the Forward Foundation by visiting the foundation’s website here.