YMCA of Montclair Receives $20,000 for Playground Construction at Geyer Family Y

Montclair, NJ — YMCA of Montclair’s plans to break ground for a new playground behind the Geyer Family YMCA were put on hold due to the pandemic. However, the dream of the playground was kept alive by staff, volunteers, and donors who believed in the importance of creating an imaginative and accessible public playground.

The YMCA of Montclair has received generous donations from Investors Foundation, the Provident Bank Foundation, as well as several individual donors for the playground. Sovos Brands/Rao’s Homemade joins this effort by generously providing the Y a contribution of $20,000 for playground construction.

Pictured (left to right) Risa Cretella, Executive Vice President, Group General Manager Sovos Brands/Rao’s Homemade; Anneke Demarest, Chief Development Officer YMCA of Montclair; and Buddy Evans, President and CEO YMCA of Montclair at the Geyer Family YMCA playground site. Photo: YMCA of Montclair

“Demonstrating support for our community is extremely important to us always, but especially during this time,” said Risa Cretella, Executive Vice President, Group General Manager at Sovos Brands/Rao’s Homemade. “We are thrilled to be part of making this playground possible and giving children a safe place to have fun and make friends.”

“We would like to extend our deepest thanks to Sovos Brands/Rao’s Homemade,” said Buddy Evans, President & CEO of the YMCA of Montclair. “Having a place where local children of diverse abilities can engage in free play and healthy physical activity fills a real community need.”

The playground was designed in collaboration with Professor Gary Fredriksen and student interns at Montclair State University’s Department of Art and Design. The playground was imagined as an accessible Rainbow themed playground that would include a Play Tower with an ADA staircase, slide, a greenhouse and florist play space, sand and water play, a tiered mountain riding road, an urban garden, and more.

The Y plans to restart construction as soon as possible. The YMCA of Montclair is fundraising to reach their goal of $200,000 to build the playground. If you are interested in donating, please contact Anneke Demarest, Chief Development Officer at ademarest@montclairymca.org.

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