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"Beach Day" honors much loved lifeguard Nathan Beach in Dilworth

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Dilworth, MN (WDAY TV) - In Dilworth this afternoon, the gates opened, kids stormed the pool, and the celebration began: "Beach Day." As in: Nathan Beach.

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The much loved lifeguard died suddenly 6-months ago at home, from complications associated with Crohn's Disease. 

But today at the pool, the kids he loved honored him the only way they knew how. A party. 

"Colin Grab that end there."

Colin Conteh and Darin Langager hauled the new handmade lifeguard chair to the pool, one of a half dozen made in honor of their Uncle and Nephew. 

"That’s a good spot. We made it in honor of Nate."

Others at the Dilworth pool blew up beach balls for the water extravaganza. 

"Thank you guys for setting all that up."

After all it was Beach Day, Nathan Beach.

"And here Erica and him were saying grace before they ate." 

When this mom brags about her late son, she has reason to. 

"This is for him." 

For 6 years Nathan Beach was a lifeguard at the Dilworth pool. A young man who laughed and loved his way to the water, 

"It truly was part of who he was.” 

Caring for every kid who jumped in. 

Lisa Beach/Nate’s Mom: "He was very about the kids, very kind hearted, very caring." 

Today there were shadowboxes, plaques. 

Lisa: "He loved the children and the fun and that he's here watching over us." 

Speeches, proclamations. They could not say enough about this lifeguard who was more like family to hundreds of kids every summer. 

Max Ommen\Dilworth Lifeguard: "Nate was always there for the kids he had this way about him that just kids gravitated towards him - people gravitated towards him, and he would do anything it takes to make sure that people loved coming to the pool and made sure they came back."  

"Always caring about everyone who came to the pool." 

Lisa: "Wow thank you that is awesome." 

Finally, the beach balls went in, 

"Alright guys! Let’s go."

so did the kids. 

An afternoon of free swimming, all the beach balls and water you could handle. A Nathan Beach kind of day. 

Lisa: "I know he's here watching over us. He really is so."

And there were stories here today at the pool of Nathan's generosity. How he would often take kids under his wing. Left here for the day some of the kids would have no money or food. He'd buy them a snack, and, even in storms, bring them home. 

Lisa: "It didn't matter to him if he got glory for it or if he didn’t get glory for it. It didn’t matter to him."

"Hi I'm Lisa." 

Today, Nate's mother heard story after story. How her son touched the lives of others.

"I'm sorry, I didn’t mean to cry. That’s ok. You must have known Nathan huh?"

From one thankful mother to a proud one, they told her what she knew all along. 

Lisa: "This is going to be very hard for me." 

She had a son so special, 

Lisa: "I don’t have many pictures of him teaching." 

They named a day after him. 

Lisa: "Look how serious he was.” 

Nathan often hoped one day, money could be raised for handicap accessible stairs at the Dilworth pool. Two businesses heard that story and donated money, and tonight, there are stairs in place at the pool.   

And today the mayor of Dilworth decided "Beach Day” was such a success, it will be held in Nate's Honor every summer.   

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Kevin Wallevand
Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.
(701) 241-5317
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