By Grace Galbreath
AVALON – This week’s featured lifeguard, Frank Lawson, has grown up at the Jersey Shore! Born and raised in Moorestown, NJ, Frank is a rising senior at the College of Charleston. This year, he is celebrating his sixth summer with the Avalon Beach Patrol.
Frank was inspired to try out for the beach patrol by his father’s recommendation. He said, “I got started when I was 16. I swam in high school, and my dad wanted to put me to good use, so he said, ‘You are going to lifeguard.’ So, I tried out, and I made it.” Now a veteran member of the patrol, Frank guards with his younger brother, Brian.
Seeing as he is the product of two Cape May County natives, Frank has spent a lot of time in various towns throughout the county. He said, “My mom grew up in Ocean City. She went to Ocean City High School. She was there year-round. My dad spent some time in Dennisville and Avalon, he was all over. He went to Wildwood Catholic. So, they always loved the Jersey Shore. We finally got a house in Avalon the summer before I started guarding, but we had my moms’ childhood house for a few years before that in Ocean City.”
Over the years, Frank has participated in several lifeguard competitions. This year he has already competed in a few and is looking to participate in more before the summer ends. “I rowed in the solstice, the Avalon Solstice Row, which is in Avalon’s back bay. I will be competing in the Bay Race. I am trying out tomorrow morning for a spot in the Kerr Race in Avalon. So, we will see, that’s to be determined,” he said.
When off the clock, Frank enjoys running. Although he recently picked up the hobby, he has been very successful, running the Los Angeles Marathon in March. He said, “I like to run. That is something I’ve started. I ran a marathon in March. So, I started running a lot this past year, just kind of staying active and having good relationships with my friends.”
If not on the beach, Frank can often be found eating breakfast at Avalon’s Hollywood Bowls. He is also a regular at The Stone Harbor Bar & Grill, located just off 96th street. He made sure to shout out his favorite server at the grill, Trevor!
Stop by the Avalon beaches this summer to say hello to Frank! He can also be found at Hollywood Bowls most mornings before the guards hit the beach. Don’t forget to wish him luck in the upcoming Beach Patrol competitions!