Hurricane Sandy impacted the New York City area hard. Homes were destroyed, businesses lost, entire communities wiped out in a matter of minutes. The barrier island City of Long Beach, just a few short miles from JFK on Long Island, was one of these communities.
The cities main attraction, the boardwalk, was completely demolished. Along the boardwalk sat Magnolia Playground, which was also destroyed. Just over six months after the storm the playground is back after some help from JetBlue, KaBoom, and the local community.
“Through our longstanding partnership with KaBOOM!, we work together to create playgrounds in neighborhoods that are lacking resources. This year, we are concentrating our efforts to rebuild play spaces that were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy,” said Michael Stromer, vice president of customer connections marketing at JetBlue Airways. “Long Beach and Nassau County are right in our backyard. We have many crewmembers and customers who live there and have been directly impacted by the storm. Rebuilding in these communities is particularly important to JetBlue. We are simply supporting our neighbors.”
“In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, we’ve received a tremendous outpouring of support,” said Eileen J. Goggin, city council member for the city of Long Beach. “Magnolia Playground has been a popular city park for decades, and we are so appreciative of our wonderful sponsors and dedicated volunteers who are so generously assisting us with this terrific rebuilding project.”
KaBoom is an organization that organizes the building of playgrounds in communities, and JetBlue has partnered with them 17 times to build playgrounds in JetBlue cities.
Long Beach is the first post-Sandy build, after successfully campaigning via Facebook and other means to bring in Kaboom and JetBlue. Over 150 JetBlue employees signed up to help the build, which takes only about 5 hours from start to finish.
|This story written by Jason Rabinowitz, Senior Correspondent.
Jason is a New York City native who has grown up in the shadow of JFK International Airport. A true “avgeek”, he enjoys plane spotting and photography, as well taking any opportunity he can get to fly on an aircraft.