VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – It’s been two weeks since Hurricane Matthew came through and we’re still feeling its effects.
Because of the storm, the JT Walk and Beach Party, sponsored by WAVY-TV 10 and FOX 43, has moved its concert indoors. Train will now be playing inside of the Virginia Beach Convention Center because of sand erosion on the beach.
“We needed a wider beach then we typically have, which is accommodated most years without any problem, except for this year. We had Matthew,” said Bruce Thompson.
The annual walk is held in honor of Thompson’s son, Josh, who has ALS. It also raises money for a camp for wounded veterans and Gold Star families.
Thompson says because of the hurricane, the beach is currently 150 feet wide, when it’s normally 270 feet wide. He said, “Of course it’s a little frustrating because it’s last-minute preparations. But fortunately the Convention Center was not occupied so we could move it there.”
Thompson says they expect between 4,000 and 5,000 people on Sunday. Their goal is to raise $1 million.
“We see the outpouring of love and support, thousands of people and hundreds of thousands of dollars raised to fight ALS and to support our veterans in the area,” said Thompson.
The annual fundraiser is on Sunday, so the set up is underway. That’s leaving many tourists wondering what the massive sand dunes are for.
“About 7:30, 8:00, I woke up to hearing a payloader backing up. You could hear the beeping. I looked out front and they were scraping the sand off the top making all three of these piles,” said Frank Gravano, who was visiting from Long Island.
Turns out — they’re for the kid’s treasure hunt that is part of the walk.
“Any child that goes out and raises a little money for the charity has a chance to jump up there and look for any coins that they can redeem at any of the souvenir shops at the beach,” said Thompson.
For more information, visit the JT Walk and Beach Party website.