The Wesley’s Way Foundation has adopted a bench at the five-acre Dowdy Park in Nags Head to honor 4-year-old Wesley Belisle who drowned in the Outer Banks surf last year.

Wesley played in that park while the New Hampshire family vacationed here in April 2018, said his mother Lindsey Belisle in an email. 

Wesley was walking with his mother along the Kitty Hawk beach when a rogue wave slammed into them, knocking the mother down. Wesley disappeared into the surf. His body was found a few days later.

The local community responded with a heart-shaped memorial of shells on the beach brought by dozens of people. A gathering honored the boy on the beach a few days after the incident. The family later created the foundation with goals including raising awareness of the dangers of the ocean, enhancing community parks and helping underprivileged children with school supplies.

Jeff Hampton, 252-491-5272,


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