Ron Jaworski Foundation Donates $100K to Renovate Camden Park

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CAMDEN, N.J. -

Camden officials gathered for a groundbreaking of the second of four park improvement projects in the city.

“What a glorious day in Camden," said former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and founder of Jaws Youth Playbook, Ron Jaworski. "Wow! Not only do we have beautiful weather, we have beautiful people and we’re celebrating something very, very special." 

Members with the freeholder board, City of Camden representatives, and Cooper's Ferry Partnership officials, among many other organizations, broke ground, alongside students from KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy, to officially begin the revitalization of Fourth and Washington Park.

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“Parks bring people together. Ball fields bring people together. Playgrounds bring people together," said Jaworski. "People can feel safe coming here with their children. They can meet new friends, they can interact with people, develop their personal skills and have fun.”

A donation of $100,000 was made by Jaworski’s foundation, Jaws Youth Playbook, toward the major renovations.

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The project will expand the park's current size, and include new playground equipment, basketball and handball courts with lighting, picnic tables and much more.

“I was fortunate enough to play 17 years in the National Football League and I can honestly say if it wasn’t for the playgrounds [and] the ball fields where I grew up on, I never would have made it to the National Football League," said Jaworski. "I may have never gotten a college education at Youngstown State."

"Sports, playgrounds, people, nutrition, all those things helped me along the way. What you are doing in this community now, to help these young people is absolutely magnificent.”

“It’s all about the kids," said Frank Moran, mayor of Camden. "If we don’t invest in our children now, our future is bleak. So, we’re going to do everything we can. We’ve improved the public school system. We’ve improved the renaissance schools. We’ve improved parks. We’re improving communities.”

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“If you have a park that’s in a dilapidated condition, it will be infested by drug dealers, and people who are doing bad things," said Jeffrey Nash, freeholder, Camden County. "Families are going to want to stay away. [However], if you have a revitalized park to make it a spectacular park, no different than we can see in some of the great parks in the suburbs, then families will want to stay here. And keeping families here is really the foundation of rebuilding a community.”

The $1.4 million county-funded project is set to begin sometime during the first week of October and will be finalized this Spring.

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