For families battling a child’s critical illness, the crashing surf and sandy shores of area beaches offer a port in a storm. And Believe In Tomorrow Children’s Foundation is one step closer to opening that harbor to more needy families.

The Baltimore-based organization is in the running to receive a Pepsi Refresh Grant, which would provide necessary funds to expand the first and only beach respite facility in the United States for critically ill children and their families.

“We want to continue to ‘wow’ families who come to the Believe In Tomorrow House by the Sea, seeking respite from the stressful routine of painful medical treatments, surgeries and hospital visits,” said founder and CEO Brian Morrison.

The Foundation is now in its 25th year of bringing families to the beaches of Maryland and Delaware, free of charge, to recover from the stress of confronting a child’s critical illness.

If it secures the grant, the foundation will be able to expand its current facility on 66th Street in Ocean City, Md., and build additional amenities for the respite-seeking families.

Said Morrison, “This grant will enable us to construct a rooftop conservatory, and expand our elevator service to the top deck, so all of our families can gaze year round at the stars, the sea or the sky, to create an even more memorable visit to the beach.”