With your help we're setting out to recapture the spirit of the original Kids Kreation build.
With the support of the entire community, thousands of dollars and thousands of man-hours were invested in building Kids-Kreation in 1992. It is with great humility and pride that we now set out to rebuild or replace the current structure that has served the families of Monroe for many years. With your help, we can make Kids Kreation something that families will enjoy and value for many years to come.
Amanda Bean | Board Member
Frank Bent | Board Member
Jennifer Cristo | Treasurer
Julie Frost | Board Member
Nina Gagnon | Board Member
Mike Ganino | Vice Chair
Tammy Julian | Board Member
Dan Keene | Chair
Lisa Keene | Secretary
Jeremy Rosenzweig | Board Member
Josh Sternthal | Board Member
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dan Keene | Committee Chair
Frank Bent | Member
Jason Bean | Member
Ben Gershel | Member
Kelly Plunkett | Member
Keith Romano | Member
Kevin Solli | Member
Amanda Bean | Committee Chair
Theresa Oleyar | Member
Marissa Donnelly | Member
Lisa Keene | Member
Nina Gagnon | Member
Shiva Gundavaram | Member
Annie Scarano | Member
Molly Simons-Smith | Member
Jennifer Cristo | Member
Sopoline Teng | Member
William Holsworth | Member
Davinder Heslin | Member
Julie Frost | Member
Amanda Bean | Member
Jeremy Rosenzweig | Member
Jonathan Derosa | Member
Anita Dulude | Member
Lisa Keene | Member
Dan Keene | Member
Lisa Marie Pinto | Member
Marion Frost | Member
Steve Frost | Member
Tammy Julian | Member
Herman Olivera | Member
Sara Jean Blamey | Member
Ashley Gilby | Member
Wendy Headley | Member
Mike F. Ganino | Committee Chair
Dan Keene- Chair
Wolfe Park was one of the first things that attracted me to Monroe and the wooden playground there was a big part of that. I recognized that type of playground immediately. Growing up, I remembered being part of a project to build a playground like that it my home town. I thought it was really neat that my new hometown would have a playground just like the one I helped build and played on as a kid.
When my own children were born in 2013 (twins, Sam and Emmy, now age 8) and I started spending more time at the playground, I started to notice its condition. It’s a wonderful structure but it’s really a shadow of what it once was. Community service has always been very important to me and I oversee big projects for a living. So I thought to myself, organizing the rebuilding of this playground would be a great way to put my professional skills to use, give back to the community, and do something that my kids (and every other Monroe kid) could enjoy directly.
I am extremely proud of the work our board has done so far and I can’t wait to see what the new playground will be!
Mike Ganino - Vice Chair
We've lived in Monroe since November of 2001. My wife is Gloria, who is the School Nurse at Fawn Hollow Elementary School, my sons are Michael and Jonathan and my daughter is Deanna.
When we started our family, Wolfe Park and the playground became one of the focal points of our new life. Each of our three kids individually and all of us as a family have enjoyed the playground through the years and now that our oldest is 14 and youngest is 10, I can see our time at the playground is coming to an
end...and with that I now turn my attention to ensuring the next and future generations have the same wonderful moments on that playground that we had for so many years. I'm excited to be a part of a great team and a generous community that will make that happen.
Jennifer Cristo - Treasurer
When we first started the Monroe Playground Foundation in 2017, I had a 19 and 17 year old and I lived in Monroe. Much has changed since then. I now have a Senior and Freshman in College and no longer live in Monroe. What hasn’t changed is that I am still passionate about getting the playground built. It is such a large part of what makes Monroe a great place to live and why we lived there for 17 years. When my kids were little, we spent many hours at the wooden playground, playing and meeting other children and parents from the community and surrounding areas. I always loved the fact that you could just meet at the park and not worry about whose house to go to.
The new playground will offer that type of community for years to come as new families come to Monroe or as the existing families start having grandchildren. I feel strongly that playground time is vital to bringing families outside and away from technology. We hope that you will love the new playground and call it home for many visits with your children.
Lisa Keene - Board Secretary
Bio coming soon
Amanda Bean - Board Member and Volunteer Committee Chair
My husband Jason and I moved to Monroe in 2016 with our, then 10-month-old, son. We fell in love with Monroe while visiting family friends. After researching the town further and learning about the amazing schools,
beautiful outdoor spaces, and many community events, we knew this was where we wanted to raise our family. Fast forward 3 years and our son is almost 4 and we have added a daughter to the mix.
With two small kids we spend a lot of time at Wolfe Park and Great Hollow Lake staying active and tiring out the little ones. The wooden playground is a big draw for our children, but the condition was always concerning. When the playground rebuild project came up both my husband and I knew we wanted to be involved somehow. Not only could we help build a great new space for our kids to play but we would also have the opportunity to meet more people from town, which is always a challenge when you are new to an area and the
kids are not yet in school. We attended several meetings and signed up to volunteer. When the need for a Volunteer Coordinator arose, I happily volunteered and joined the board in July 2019. I’m excited to be a part of
such an amazing project with a dedicated and talented team.
Nina Gagnon - Board Member
After many years of moving my husband and I finally settled on a home in Monroe. Beyond the amazing school districts and the great location, we loved the park system, especially the Housatonic Rail Trail and the playgrounds. I grew up with a similar playground to the existing Kids Kreation playground and it was always my absolute favorite. And sure enough, my two sons have also claimed this playground as their favorite as well.
So when a Facebook post began circling around about rebuilding the playground to make it more safe and fun I knew I had to be involved. My family had participated in a small playground build at my elementary school and I had so many fond memories of the build days. It was something I wanted to share with my children as well.
While I've been interested in the project from the beginning, I have only recently joined the board in January of 2019. My main focus will be on fundraising.
Josh Sternthal - Board Member
My wife Melissa and I moved to Monroe with our 3 year old daughter, Julia in 2009. We were pregnant with twins and were looking for a great community, neighborhood & school system and found all of the above in Monroe. Once we saw Wolfe Park, the lake and the playground, our minds were made up. Now, as a father of three - Julia, Zachary & Sarah, I have watched my kids grow up in this great town and have tried to take advantage of all it has to offer when possible and that certainly includes the playground.
My initial involvement with the Playground foundation was assisting in the “design day” where we visited every elementary classroom in Monroe and facilitated sessions with the designer from Leathers and the kids. The engagement and enthusiasm from the kids as well as the designer made this a creative project I wanted to be more involved with. I am an Industrial designer and graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelors of Industrial Design. Over my 20+ year career I have been fortunate enough to work for many companies / consultancies in the tri-state area designing consumer products, housewares, toys, medical devices, displays, graphics and most recently packaging for one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world. It’s my hope that my unique creative background is an asset to the board and the foundation to help make this project a success!
Jeremy Rosenzweig - Board Member
I have been a lifelong resident of Connecticut growing up in Norwalk before slowly moving further north before finally landing in Monroe with my wife Rebecca in 2010. We have 2 young children: Abby (7) and Brett (3) who love playing at Wolfe Park and truly cannot wait for the new playground to be built.
I am an alumnus from Brandeis University where I studied Psychology, and went on to get his MBA from the University of Connecticut. I have spent my entire professional career in the pharmaceutical industry with roles in sales, sales operations, and sales leadership where I have been recognized several times. Prior to moving to Monroe, I served as the president of my condo association where I over saw renovations, the construction of a second half of the complex, and a reduction in common charges.
Besides trying to raise funds for playground construction, my family and I enjoy traveling, movies, and outdoor activities.
Julie Frost - Board Member
I am the proud mother of three daughters Olivia (19), Hannah (17) and Addison (14). My husband Bob and I moved to Monroe in 2004 from the DC metro area. I was very excited as we had a one-year old daughter and I was pregnant with my second daughter at the time. This was the beginning of a new chapter where I would be a stay at home mother. I knew no one and my husband travelled frequently so I would spend so much time at Wolfe Park hoping to socialize my daughter and meet people. It was a great experience. The park is gorgeous and such a draw to the community. The playground was so much fun. Since then I have done my best to volunteer and fundraise for the local schools in hopes that I set a good example for my children and I really try to make a difference in the community. I’ve spent seven years on local PTO Boards, am past co-president of Monroe Parent’s Council and am Treasurer of Masuk Music Parent’s Association. I’m very passionate about fundraising and am proud to be a member of this fabulous team and part of this project.
Tammy Julian - Board Member
My husband, Jason, and I moved to Monroe in 2001 and have raised our family here. We have 2 amazing children, Madison 16, and Logan 14. After deciding to leave the corporate world and become a stay-at-home mom, I spent numerous hours at Wolfe Park and met so many wonderful families. The interaction that my children had with other children was so important to their early development and the friendships and memories that we created will never be forgotten. I have been on several non-profit boards including the McGivney Community Center, local PTO/PTC Boards, and served as a Co-President of Monroe Parents' Council for 3 years. I am proud to be a member of this board, the Monroe community and I am dedicated to fundraising for this project!
Frank Bent - Board Member & Builder of 1992 playground build
Bio coming soon
Herman Olivera - Board Member
I was born and raised in Bridgeport, CT.
As an adult having lived in various other towns and states, when we were on the search for the perfect family home, we knew we had found it in my wife’s hometown of Monroe. Now my wife Rachel, daughter Hannah, two pups and I have been Monroe residents for over 8 years.
Some of most attractive factors about Monroe are the highly rated school system, beautiful small town community and Wolfe Park. It’s really is an ideal safe place to raise a family. Upon moving here in May of 2013, I immediately rolled up my sleeves and wanted to get involved in town volunteer efforts as a way to do my part to help maintain where I live. I have sat as an active commissioner on The Town of Monroe Economic Development Commission, Representative for The Town of Monroe to the "Board of Directors" of Western Connecticut Tourism District, Rotary Club Member, Serve as Justice of the Peace, PTSO and various efforts. My family and I currently run a small local Monroe business, Hannah’s Honey, and am the owner and founder of Pathfinder Wisdom Academy a Personal Development Training/Shamanic healing practice.
When I was asked to come aboard The Monroe Playground Foundation, I was honored. I now have the opportunity to serve like my father in law, Daniel Greenberg, did for the original Wolfe Park playground build and my daughter could witness the full circle.