‘Our way of taking back the beach’

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The family went ahead with the trip, and Kerry Ann described it as a life-changing experience for Connor. “He was happier than I had ever seen,” she said. “He was more alert and healthy. It was like someone had given him magic medicine.”

Many on the crowded beach last Sunday had a whole new perspective on life-changing experiences, and on summoning the determination to continue their lives, whether the obstacle was a serious disease or a catastrophic, home-destroying storm.

Not far from the crowd, a familiar street sign hung from a light post. It read “Polar Bear Beach.” It had gone missing from the boardwalk at Riverside Boulevard, where the Polar Bear crowd has gathered in previous years. But two residents found it, and turned it over to the Polar Bear club on Sunday morning — slightly altered.

The sign sported a new wood frame, made from pieces of the wrecked boardwalk.

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