Beach Access and Park Issues
June 28,  2010

Weather was challenging, but the Stand in the Sand III was a success for OBPA

The weather was hot and sticky – really hot and sticky for Hatteras.  The sun beat down unmercifully for most of the day on Friday, June 25, for the third annual Stand in the Sand, the Outer Banks Preservation Association’s annual fundraiser, at the Fessenden Center in Buxton.

By mid-afternoon, thunder rumbled across Pamlico Sound, and the organizers were watching the National Weather Service radar on a laptop computer.

Everything was shut down briefly – for about 15 minutes – when the lightning started moving in from the sound. 

However, the storm passed over with little or no rain, and Stand in the Sand resumed until the food ran out at 7:30, just 30 minutes before the announced closing time.

Despite the challenges the weather presented, OBPA spokesperson Anne Bowers estimates that almost 1,000 people attended the event.

She said 766 tickets were sold for a $10 donation for meals, and that many people came in to look at the booths, play the games, or look over the artists and craftsmen who were selling their wares and didn’t eat.

Those folks who did eat sat under two big tents where the escape from the sun made the heat more bearable.

The meal offered dinesr a choice of barbecued pork, North Carolina-style, or fried Spanish mackerel with all the usual sides – macaroni and cheese, green beans, coleslaw, and cornbread or hush puppies.

The barbecue and the side dishes were prepared by the staff of the Inn on Pamlico Sound, who also served the food.  The fish was donated and prepared by Tilman Gray of Avon Fish House.

The bake sale, which was more extensive than in past years, offered a mouth-watering array of homemade cookies, brownies, dessert bars, cupcakes, slices of cake, and other confections.

Cotton candy and snow cones were also on sale.

Also new this year were a 50-50 raffle and two silent auctions.

About a dozen artists and craftsmen displayed their wares, including jewelry, clothing, glassware, pottery, and T-shirts.

Beach Access organizations – OBPA, North Carolina Beach Buggy Association, Cape Hatteras Anglers Club, and the county’s Preserve America’s beaches had booths, along with the Citizens’ Committee to Replace the Bonner Bridge.

OBPA sold commemorative T-shirts for Stand in the Sand III.  Bowers said the group also did well signing up new members and receiving outright donations from the people who attended.

A clever addition to the fundraising this year was the sale of “tombstones” that were a foot and a half tall and on which the buyers could write their own messages, such as “We miss the Point” and “Stop killing animals.”

The tombstones cost $10 each and will be displayed in the field owned by Carol Dillon across from her Outer Banks Motel on Highway 12 in north Buxton.  The tombstones can still be purchased at Frank and Fran’s tackle shop in Avon.

There were also children’s games – a dunking booth, a giant inflatable slide, and an inflatable bouncer.

Dare County’s Gary Gross of the Preserve America’s Beach Access website served as the master of ceremonies and DJ, playing a variety of music and conducting a drawing for “door” prizes every half hour.

After expenses, OBPA’s Larry Hardham said that Stand in the Sand III will net at least $10,000 for OBPA.

The Outer Banks Preservation Association is a group that advocates reasonable access for everyone on the beaches of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. 

Stand in the Sand is one of the OBPA’s largest fundraisers of the year, and it’s especially important this year, said OBPA board member Anne Bowers.

Bowers noted that the public comment on the Park Service Draft Environmental Impact Statement on off-road vehicle access to the seashore is over.  The Park Service is in the process of formulating a Final Environmental Impact Statement and proposed regulations that will have an impact on both ORV and pedestrian access to the seashore for years to come.

“Our next goal,” she says, “is building the war chest.  Legal challenges (to the final rule) will be our next big hurdle.”

If you couldn’t attend Stand in the Sand, Bowers says you can still contribute to OBPA through its website,

Stand in the Sand III was organized this year by Greg and Ginger Wojciechowski with the help of many volunteers from beach access organizations and the community.


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