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It’s More Than Just a Sculpture for Downtown Toms River

Pieces of a massive sculpture are being put in place at the entrance way of the Downtown Toms River business district but we’re learning that it’s more than just a nice piece of art work.

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On WOBM-AM’s Townsquare Tonight, Jeremy Grunin, of the Jay and Linda Grunin

Jeremy Grunin of the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation, by Tom Mongelli Townsquare Media

Foundation, that’s funding the project, said all the components of the monument itself, of a family of five going on vacation at the Jersey shore with the backdrop of a huge sea shell and a 19-foot ferris wheel, comes from the business community as well as local and county government officials.

“In this sculpture, the family is standing on a base that’s on top of the waves. That was actually symbolic of our community rising above the storm and rising above the waves, in that, they can knock us down but they’re not going to knock us out,” said Grunin.

Even the little boy in the monument is wearing a Toms River Little League hat, which is an idea contributed by Toms River Township officials, he said.

Route 166 & 37 Monument in Toms River
Route 166 & 37 Monument in Toms River (Jay & Linda Grunin Foundation)

Grunin explained that the foundation is hoping to provide a new iconic image of the Jersey shore, instead of a roller coaster submerged in the ocean after Superstorm Sandy or of cast members of MTV’s reality show “Jersey Shore” and help jump-start economic growth in the region.

“The ultimate goal is how to make Toms River, the regional template for quality of life and economic success.”

The monument also utilizes the talents of a nationally renowned sculptor Brian Hanlon, who’s a Toms River native. Grunin also explained that contractors from Ocean County were also hired, making the project an embodiment of what Ocean County represents, Grunin added.

The collaboration of all the interest into the monument is also representative of something else. Grunin said it shows “the more we can mobilize a community and ask more people the questions that we have, to come up with great answers, the better shot we have of solving any problem that we have.”

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