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Toms River Plans Route 37 Monument As Shore Welcome, Sandy Recovery Commemoration

Donated, Hanlon-designed sculpture to serve as a testament to Sandy recovery as well

A mockuo of the proposed monument. (Photo: Brian Hanlon)
A mockuo of the proposed monument. (Photo: Brian Hanlon)
A monument designed by local sculptor Brian Hanlon, a Toms River native, will welcome residents and visitors home to the Jersey Shore in the future, local officials announced this week.

"We wanted to give something back to a county that has been our home for the last 45 years," said Jay Grunin, whose family will donate the sculpture to the township and county. "Most importantly, we wanted to forge a new image in people’s minds that truly represents what our community stands for; that is family, great recreational offerings, and a people that will rise above adversity regardless of the obstacle."

The sculpture will be located on Route 37 East, east of the Route 166 intersection near the Exxon station on a plot of land that was once destined to become home to a billboard, officials said. The small plot of land on which the sculpture will rest is owned by Toms River Township.

The monument is expected to cost about $500,000, according to a report on APP.com.

The majestic welcome presentation will be made of Bronze and designed by Hanlon, who is well known in the area for his public sculptures, including the noted Angel in Anguish monument in Brick that is a memorial to local Sept. 11 victims and a monument unveiled last summer in Barnegat Light that memorializes local fishermen lost to the sea. He is also the official sculptor of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and recently completed the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame.

“It’s extremely rewarding to be able to do something like this in my own hometown," said Hanlon. "I can sincerely say that there has never been, nor do I think there ever will be, a project that I hold so closely to my heart."

The Toms River sculpture will depict a local, beach-bound family and be outfitted with flags and ocean waves.

The monument is expected to be completed in July.
Donna Goebel-Robinson May 13, 2014 at 07:21 PM
BTW - I think Mr. Hanlon has done a lovely job representing the region in the rendering shown.
KC May 13, 2014 at 07:59 PM
I do like the monument as shown in the picture and it is very nice of him to donate it however the location they plan to put it in is horrible. The traffic at the Rt.37/166 intersection is bad enough. You put this monument just past there and it will make it even worse with people trying to drive and look at it. Down towards the bridge would seem like a better idea or even over the bridge. Stewarts closed what about that huge empty lot?! But really next to Exxon right by one of the worst intersections in Toms River. Even if it won't make traffic worse this sculpture looks beautiful it doesn't belong next to a gas station.
Mark May 13, 2014 at 09:31 PM
Looks like a wonderful idea and when the upkeep and maintenance becomes the responsibility of the inept & incompetent Toms River bureaucracy it will become an eyesore. Then in five years the corrupt Toms River Council will award a six figure contract to a politically connected consultant to determine what should be done with the monument. The consultant will recommend that the monument be removed and the Council will then award a multi million dollar contract to a politically connected company to remove it and return the lot to a rat and weed infested Township owned empty lot again!
Mac May 14, 2014 at 12:27 PM
@Mark - ah, a half million dollar Hurricane Sandy Seaside memorial billboard - perhaps the Mayor and Township Council could find a better location for this generous donation, like a park, school, or beach that has parking for the general public

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