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[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: NOVEMBER 9, 2012]  Abby Taylor saw her hometown of Ocean Township, NJ and neighboring communities get destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Many of the places she has known her entire life were completely wiped out.

One place in specific, Phillips Avenue Beach Club, was especially significant to Abby. Her father was a lifeguard at Phillips Avenue her entire childhood. Abby learned to surf there. She also dispersed her grandfathers ashes there.

Abby wanted a memory of Phillips Avenue after the storm because not much was left. She went down to the beach and collected pieces of the boardwalk that was ripped to shreds and thrown all over the beach. Abby decided other people would probably like to have a memory of some of their favorite places so she began going around the area collecting boardwalk and drift wood. She collected boards from Long Branch, Deal, Loch Arbor and Belmar.

To make the boards extra special she started painting symbolic pictures on them. She did a couple and posted the pictures to Facebook and Instagram. As soon as she did a frenzy occurred. The pictures were Liked and Shared by friends, then friends of friends and then word started to spread to people she didn’t even know. The orders started to roll in and she knew that this could potentially raise a lot of money.

Abby usually spends about 1-2 hours on each piece, depending on what she is painting and how large the board is. She is currently selling pieces for prices ranging from $35-50 depending on the size and detail. In the next month before Christmas she is hoping to have a gallery show and sell the pieces and donate the money to a local relief fund to rebuild the places that gave her the best memories of her life.


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