An often-forgotten park on the shores of Jamaica Bay that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy is getting a fix up, thanks in part to a big donation from Resorts World Casino New York City.
The gaming facility, located about a mile away from the park, announced it will donate $40,000 to reconstructing the Hamilton Beach Playground in Hamilton Park. The playground, located on federal land between the A train subway tracks and Hawtree Creek, across from Charles Park, was devastated in Sandy and has not been repaired since.
“We firmly believe that investing in our community is an essential part of giving back to those who have been nothing but supportive of Resorts World Casino since we opened our doors almost three years ago,” said Ed Farrell, president of Resorts World Casino New York City, in a statement. “The children of Hamilton Beach have been without a place to play since Hurricane Sandy severely damaged their neighborhood playground in 2012. Resorts World Casino is proud to be a part of the effort to restore the playground and give the kids of Hamilton Beach a fun, safe place to play.”
Before the storm, the park began an epicenter of activity in the subcommunity on the southeast corner of Howard Beach. Neighborhood children would use the playground while pickup softball games were often held in the surrounding parkland. The space was also popular for picnics and a gathering spot for older children.
Rebuilding efforts will be led by Pavers and Road Builders Local 1010 and the National Parks Service with additional help from casino employees over the course of the project, which is expected to begin and finish in September.
“On behalf of the entire Hamilton Beach community, I want to thank Resorts World for everything they’ve done for us,” said Roger Gendron, president of the New Hamilton Beach Civic Association, who acknowledged the casino’s help in the days and weeks after Sandy.
“Immediately after Sandy, members of the Resorts World family were in Hamilton Beach providing hot food and water and to this day the organization continues to support our community in a number of ways,” he said. “Resorts World has shown their generosity to Hamilton Beach over and over again and we truly appreciate them and everything they have done for us.”
Elected officials who represent Hamilton Beach praised the casino’s funding of renovations.
“I believe Resorts World cares about being a part of this community and for that I am truly thankful, as well as appreciative they are reaching out to Hamilton Beach, a geographically isolated neighborhood and one of the worst hit by Hurricane Sandy,” said Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach). “This park rebuilding project will beautify a community still struggling to come back from Sandy and I look forward to working with Resorts World as they see this through.”
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) echoed the statement, adding that “providing play areas for our children in their own backyards is critical for our recovery.”
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) acknowledged the partnership that made the reconstruction possible.
“This is an exemplary case of how elected officials, local businesses and community leaders work together to make a difference in the lives of our children,” he said.