ABOUT US >

The Monroe Playground Foundation was formed in the fall of 2017.  Our mission is to work with Residents, Families and the Town of Monroe to provide our community with a safe and creative playground environment where families can interact and supervise their children at play and help make it a place where generations can come together and create special memories.

Monroe Playground Foundation

PO Box 162

Monroe, CT 06468

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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.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dan Keene | Chair

 

Theresa Oleyar | Co-Chair ​​

Jennifer Cristo | Secretary

Mike Ganino | Treasurer​

Candice Boyle | Vice Treasurer

Jodie Driscoll | Board Member

Frank Bent | Board Member

 

Lori O'Driscoll  | Board Member

Nina Gagnon | Board Member

Jeremy Rosenzweig  | Board Member

Josh Sternthal  | Board Member

Angelo Mendez  | Board Member

Steve Diaz  | Board Member

Amanda Bean  | Board Member

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 5) 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!

Theresa Oleyar - Co-Chair

I’ve lived in Monroe since 2005
I am excited to be a part of this project, because the playground has been a special place for our family since the year 2000, when our oldest daughter
was 2, and before we even moved to Monroe.

 

We have since spent countless hours here sharing it with friends and family. From Mommy and me play dates to birthday parties, the Kids Kreation Playground has served as a centerpiece to the memories we have made in the park.

I am honored to be a part of the effort, to ensure, that families will be making their own memories here, for generations to come.

Jennifer Cristo - Secretary

I am the mom of two boys, now 19 and 17. We moved to Monroe in 2004 when
the boys were just 4 and 2. As a stay at home mom, I was always looking for activities to tire the boys out and the Wolfe Park Playground was a place we visited frequently. It was always nice to see other parents there where you could have an adult conversation, while the kids had a great time playing. Although my boys are nearly grown, the park holds many great memories for us. I am excited to see the legacy continue as we work to rebuild the playground and make it a great place to visit for Monroe and surrounding town residents for years to come.

Mike Ganino - Treasurer

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.

Candice Boyle - Vice Treasurer

I moved to Monroe in 2009. When we were looking for a town to raise our family, the thing that most attracted us to Monroe was Wolfe Park. Wolfe Park is a place where the community can gather to spend time with friends and family, play sports or run around on the playground. It is what makes Monroe special. The Kids Kreation Playground is a key fixture of Wolfe Park. My
kids have spent many hours on that playground making special memories. I’m excited to be a part of this project to redevelop this playground!

Jodie Driscoll - Board Member

After living in New Jersey for several years to attend law school, my husband and I decided to move back to our native Connecticut to be closer to family and friends. When looking for a home in Fairfield County, we drove through many towns and neighborhoods before finding our home in Monroe. Once our realtor took us for a drive through lower Wolfe Park with the fall foliage at its peek, we knew Monroe was for us. Later that year, we welcomed our first of two sons and that's when we really got to know the beauty of the Monroe parks. We spend much of our free time walking or jogging around the lake, riding our bikes on the bike trail, playing (or watching) baseball and soccer games at Wolfe Park, swimming at the Town pool, getting some sun and sand at the lake and of course playing on the giant wooden playground. I feel lucky to be part of a community that provides so many activities and opportunities for families to grow, learn and play together. I am honored to be a part of the redevelopment of the Kids Kreation playground

 

I am attorney with the law firm of Murtha Cullina LLP, a
regional law firm with over 100 lawyers in Hartford, New Haven, and
Stamford, Connecticut, Boston and Woburn, Massachusetts, and White Plains,
New York.

Frank Bent - Board Member

Lori O'Driscoll - Board Member

Bio coming soon

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.

Bio coming soon

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.

Angelo Mendez - Board Member

Bio coming soon

Bio coming soon

Steve Dias - Board Member

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.

Amanda Bean - Board Member