Princeton, N.J.—Long after this year’s Super Bowl Most Valuable Player is named, the game will continue to have an impact on youngsters throughout the State of New Jersey. The NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation (SYF), the charitable arm of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, is refurbishing run-down or damaged youth-serving organizations throughout the Garden State. Repairs to at least 23 of the sites are being funded in part by a $1.5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to SYF through the Community Foundation of New Jersey.
Although many of these sites were in need of repairs and upgrades long before Hurricane Sandy came along, the superstorm had a huge impact. Many facilities were forced to shut their doors entirely, and more than a year after Sandy made landfall, the repair work continues.
The repairs include new gym floors, new playgrounds, computer upgrades, roof repairs, new elevators, and top-to-bottom cosmetic improvements. RWJF Senior Vice President and Director of the Health Care Group, John Lumpkin, MD, explained, “an important part of attaining a culture of health is making sure that everyone has the opportunity and access to be physically active. This is especially important for our children. We need to teach kids healthy habits that last a lifetime. And we can only do that when they have safe places to play and be active.”
The list of facilities whose repairs have been possible in part through the RWJF grant so far include:
- All Stars Project of Newark, Newark, N.J.
- Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City, Chelsea Club, Atlantic City, N.J.
- Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City, Presidents Club, Atlantic City, N.J.
- Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County, Red Bank, N.J.
- Boys and Girls Club of Newark, Newark, N.J.
- Boys and Girls Club of Paterson/Passaic, Paterson, N.J.
- Boys and Girls Club of Union County, Union, N.J.
- Concord Street Park, Moonachie, N.J.
- Hackensack Medical Center Healthy Futures Project, Hackensack, N.J.
- Hugh Boyd Elementary, Seaside Heights, N.J.
- Manasquan Elementary, Manasquan, N.J.
- Moonachie Joseph Street Park Project, Moonachie, N.J.
- Paterson Youth Consultation Services, Paterson, N.J.
- Puerto Rican Association for Human Development, Perth Amboy, N.J.
- R.D. Wilson Memorial Community Center, Highlands, N.J.
- Rahway Community Action Organization, Rahway, N.J.
- Rahway Recreation Center, Rahway, N.J.
- Saint Rose of Lima, Belmar, N.J.
- Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Ironbound, Newark, N.J.
- Sussex Avenue Elementary School, Newark, N.J.
- Toms River East High School, Toms River, N.J.
- Youth Consultation Services, George Washington School, Hackensack, N.J.
- YWCA of Essex and West Hudson, Orange, N.J.
Based in Princeton, RWJF is committed to making a difference in its home state of New Jersey. In addition to the grant to SYF, RWJF also pledged $5 million immediately following the storm for Sandy recovery in New Jersey.