OCEAN CITY – About 50 members of the community joined together to commemorate the ribbon cutting of a brand new elevator at the Believe In Tomorrow House By The Sea, a retreat facility for critically ill children and their families.

Thanks to Delaware Elevator and a team of local donors and volunteers, families staying at this facility can now access all floors of the three-story condominium, located in Ocean City.

The Believe In Tomorrow House By The Sea is a year-round beach retreat for families of children facing cancer and other critical illnesses. Current children staying at the house assisted in the ribbon cutting, along with Senator Jim Mathias and several key members that helped the elevator reach completion. The elevator replaced a handicap lift, which only accessed the ground level and first floor and prevented families with children in wheelchairs from reaching three of the condominium’s five units. Installation of the elevator and removal of the lift also allowed a deck extension, creating more room for children and families to enjoy activities there.

Largely a community effort led by Delaware Elevator, the estimated value of the project, including donated materials, is about $175,000. Since construction began in December 2012, many companies pulled together to ensure the elevator’s completion for the summer.

Major contributors included Ravens Roost 58, Beacon Electric, AWB Engineers, John D. Hynes & Associates, John H. Plummer & Associates, Coastal Excavating, Coastal Comfort, SSS Security Systems, LA Sawyer Company, Harkins Concrete Construction, The Home Depot and Parker Block.

Several key donors and fundraisers also helped raise money to purchase necessary supplies, including the Gudelsky Foundation, Hooters, and the Fears Family, in memory of their son, Danny, who greatly enjoyed spending time at the beach through the Believe In Tomorrow’s programs.

“To the children and families that we serve, an elevator is much more than just vertical transportation,” said Believe In Tomorrow CEO and Founder Brian Morrison. “To them it represents an opportunity reach new heights – to see the ocean from the top floor, and to smell the clean ocean air. To our Believe In Tomorrow families, this elevator represents freedom.”

The Believe In Tomorrow House By The Sea is one of five beach and mountain retreat properties operated by Believe In Tomorrow Children’s Foundation, the leading provider of pediatric respite housing nationwide. Critically ill children and their families can stay together at these facilities year-round, helping to renew their spirits mentally and physically during the child’s treatments. Partnerships with local businesses in each community allow families to participate in activities and excursions, just like on any other family vacation.