The town this week began returning the engraved planks from the busted portion of the Sandwich Boardwalk to their original donors.

Thursday morning, plank-owners stood in a line that snaked down the stairs from the second floor of Sandwich Town Hall, where the plank return was in progress.

Many had stories to tell about their planks, or the names engraved on them. One woman, Lauri Pola, read a poem titled “A Bridge Between” written by Carlo Pola about what the boardwalk meant to their family.

Town office manager Melissa Carroll was in charge of the return, but there were other volunteers available to lend a hand.

Among the volunteers were members of the self-described “Plank Gang,” the group who pitched in back in May at the dismantling of a 220-foot portion of the boardwalk that was ripped from the main structure during a storm at the end of January.

In all, that section of the boardwalk contained 455 planks. On Thursday, the town began returning the first batch of 33 planks to their donors.

The hope is to accelerate the process of reuniting planks and donors throughout the summer.

The town is hoping to soon post a list of the 455 planks on its website ( so residents can search the list for their plank, then contact the town to arrange to pick it up.

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