Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Adam Weingarten joined others on Friday, May 4th, at the Grand Opening of Let All the Children Play’s (LATCP) highly anticipated fully accessible park and playground in Eisenhower Park, Field 4.
LATCP is a Long Island based not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives and dignity of all children by developing accessible playgrounds and inclusive recreation programs.
Michael Alon, Chairman and Founder of LATCP; David Weingarten, Vice Chairman of LATCP; Assemblymen Harvey Weisenberg, Tom McKevitt and Ed Ra; and Nassau County Legislators Denise Ford, Rose Walker and Dave Denenberg were also in attendance.
“You will have to look long and hard to find a better example of a successful public-private partnership that works for the greater good of the community,” said County Executive Edward P. Mangano. “Together, we have dedicated ourselves to breaking down barriers and improving the lives and dignity of children with disabilities by providing them with the opportunity to experience play, side-by-side, with their able-bodied peers.”
“It is my hope that the entire community comes out and joins us during the weekend in celebrating this new jewel in the heart of Nassau County,” said Michael Alon, Chairman and Founder of LATCP. “I believe that this accessible park will be extremely beneficial to ALL children since inclusion provides typical children with the ability to develop leadership skills and compassion while children with disabilities develop a greater level of self-confidence and feeling of acceptance.”
LATCP, along with Astoria Federal Savings, also hosted a Family Fun Day at the park on Saturday, May 5th from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Children who attended were able to participate in “inclusive open play” playground time.” Other special experiences were made available including an inclusive sports clinic, face painting, and arts and crafts. Unicycle lessons provided by justonewheel.org, and cheer clinics provided by 5 Star Sports and Entertainment Academy were also among the activities provided at the event.
This 2-acre, $1.25 million project has been in development since 2007 in coordination with the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums. There was a special Performance by the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) singers.
“The Let All The Children Play Park and Playground is truly a dream come true for me,” said David Weingarten, the Founding Director and now Vice Chairman of the Board of LATCP. “As the father of a son with Down syndrome who is already twenty-seven years old, my wife and I had always wished that there was a place where Adam could play with his more able-bodied peers- and his sister- in an inclusive environment. I am grateful that our founder, Michael Alon shared my vision and believed in making this park a reality. With his support and that of our many LATCP donors, Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, County Executive Edward
Mangano, the Nassau County Legislature and Carnell Foskey, Commissioner of the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums, this playground will create many new recreational opportunities for ALL children in Nassau County, those with or without disabilities.”
Let All The Children Play (LATCP) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives and dignity of all children by developing accessible playgrounds and inclusive recreation programs allowing children with disabilities the opportunity to experience play, side-by-side, with their able-bodied peers. LATCP recognizes the right of everyone to be included through sports and play projects and programs that improve recreational opportunities for all children and young adults within the community. LATCP understands the vital benefits of play and looks to level the playing fields for children of all abilities. Without accessible play, children are denied access to a social circle of peers along with being denied the physical and cognitive benefits that play provides.