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HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services Kids & Teens Build KaBOOM! Playground

June 12, 2016


(Brooklyn, NY)—The children and teens of HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services’ Carey Gardens and O’Dwyer Cornerstone Programs built a KaBOOM! Imagination Playground, made possible by Nathan’s Famous.

“We are thrilled that HeartShare St. Vincent Services was nominated for the Imagination Playground experience, which further enhances the physical, emotional and social benefits of at-risk children and teens participating in our youth programs. We are also incredibly grateful for the $2,000 donation, as our children often enjoy nutritional meals and snacks at our after-school programs,” said HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services (HSVS) Executive Director Dawn Saffayeh.

Both youth programs were presented with a $1,000 gift card to Pathmark and Waldbaum’s to be used for groceries. “This donation means so much to our students, who spend an extraordinary amount of time at our programs, particularly during the summer extended hours that span over more than 12 hours daily,” said HSVS Cornerstone Director Diana Greco. “HSVS youth programs offer a variety of academic, recreational and arts-based hands-on programs that reinforce academic concepts. We also motivate our students to pursue their creative interests and advise how to cope with every day challenges.”

HSVS, an affiliate of HeartShare Human Services of New York, opened its Carey Gardens and O’Dwyer Cornerstone Programs last year after displacement following Superstorm Sandy. The HSVS Surfside Cornerstone Program moved four times after Sandy until being temporarily co-located at the O’Dwyer Program.

“I, along with other members of the Coney Island Alliance, want to ensure that our community is healthy and thriving,” said Wayne Norbitz, President of Nathan’s Famous. “Providing a recreational outlet, for both mind and body, is essential for the growth of our youth. We cannot thank the kind people at HSVS enough due to their incredible impact on the development of our area’s youth, championing both physical and emotional growth.”

Traditional playgrounds consist primarily of fixed equipment, such as slides, monkey bars and teeter-totters, all of which focus on developing children’s gross motor skills. Imagination Playgrounds are made up of loose parts that prompt children to transform their environment and create a play space of their own.

For more information on HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services programs, visit