From as far away as Sweden, they gave donations from $25 to more than $5,000.
Those donors have raised more than $500,000 toward Belmar's "Buy a Board" campaign, to help offset the costs of rebuilding the boardwalk destroyed in Hurricane Sandy.
The campaign had launched in late November 2012 has surpassed $507,000 as of March 8.
“What an amazing response. Belmar Boardwalk supporters have come forward to raise more than half a million dollars in just over 3 months. Thank you to everyone who has supported this effort – we will have your boardwalk back for you come Memorial Day,” Mayor Matt Doherty said in a prepared statement.
The money came in from around the world but mostly New Jerseyans make up the 4,747 donors. The average donation is just over $100.
Borough officials said the outpouring of support is seen in the Buy a Board campaign, but also in 2013 beach badge sales. Belmar beach badge sales have seen a significant increase with 3,037 badges sold so far for the 2013 season, a 47 percent increase over the sales of the same period last year.
Doherty said these figures show the confidence and interest beachgoers have in Belmar's recovery for summer.
Part of the success of Buy a Board is an online payment system. To contribute to the Buy a Board Campaign go to www.belmarboards.com, and donors can pay by credit card. Early in the campaign mailed-in donations were only available.
The Buy a Board campaign has seven donation levels from a “Beach Bum” at $25 to a “Big Kahuna” at $5,000:
· $5,000 Big Kahuna
· $2,500 Surf Rider
· $1,000 Sun Worshiper
· $500 Boogie Boarder
· $250 Board Runner
· $100 Clam Digger
· $25 Beach Bum
Contributors will also be able to have their name and board level displayed on a beach entrance of their choice, with the prominent donors having names displayed bigger, Doherty said.
The boardwalk's cost in a contract for Epic Construction is currently $6.59 million but is expected to grow another $1.4 million after a change order before the council March 13.