A Vision Realized At Justin’s Beach House

by Dave on August 26, 2010

In 2005, it was just an idea. A vision. A tribute to a young man who died too soon.

Today, Justin’s Beach House is a reality. A physical testament to the generosity and hard work of many and a place families with cancer to escape the day-to-day struggles of their situation.

A tribute to Justin Jennings, who died in June of 2000 at the age of 19, Justin’s Beach House near Bethany Beach recently finished construction under the direction of Contractors for a Cause, a Bethany-area group headed by Mike Cummings and Jim Kyger.

“When we, my husband Craig, son Adam and daughter Danielle, decided to start the foundation in Justin’s name it was at first a way of dealing with the loss of Justin.” said Mary Ellen Nantais, Justin’s mother. “In 2005 we partnered with Contractors for a Cause and started working on building up our funds to start the project that would be know as “Justin’s Beach House” for families with cancer.”

The emotions run deep for Nantais with the realization of the physical structure that was for so long just an idea or a blueprint.

“Although it has taken us over 5 years to start, the completion of JBH is at hand. All of our emotions are high, partially with excitement at the prospect of our first family’s visit but also because of everything we have all gone through to get here,” added Nantais. “The contractors and suppliers, along with all the labor, materials, donations, time and effort that each and everyone of those who worked to make this dream of ours come true. Most of the furniture is in place, we still need white towels and sheets for all the bathrooms and bedrooms. We happily will take any monetary donations as well!”

As difficult as it was to get to this point, it’s nearly impossible for Nantais to thank all the people who made it possible.

“Everyone that attended a fundraiser or helped raise money in large to small ways, God Bless You and Thank You!!”

“It’s hard to see the completion as we know this is the final step in a dream that has come true for us,” she said. “For me and my family it is almost like we have finally put Justin to rest….we made, what we thought, would be a dream of Justin’s come true. We now are left again, without him. But I know that Justin was on hand with every worker that laid a brick, put on a piece of siding, or flooring, or hung windows, or placed furniture, put in an elevator, painted a wall or the house, did the plumbing, or sat in “the big chair”or, rode their bike cross country.”

Anyone interested in donating to or learning more about Justin, the Justin W. Jennings Foundation or Justin’s Beach House can visit JustinJennings.org.

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