Each year, the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities looks to members of the community to help identify individuals or organizations who have shown an exceptional commitment to promoting community inclusion for individuals with developmental disabilities. Whether a devoted educator, a visionary community leader, or a diligent advocate, the Council believes such individuals or organizations should be encouraged, supported, and given recognition.
Today the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities is proud to announce that JOSEPH NASTO of Build Jake's Place is the winner of the 2016 ACCESS ABOVE & BEYOND AWARD.
"I am honored, proud, and humbled by this award. Jake Nasto was beloved by many and left this world way too soon as a result of a rare cardiac medical condition. He always had a smile though. That smile was never bigger then when he was at a playground. Although Jake was unaware that his illness kept him from accessing many components of a typical playground, my family was not.
My wife and I chose to honor our son's memory by creating a specially designed playground based on the belief that every child deserves a chance to play, regardless of physical limitations.
Through the combined efforts of Build Jake's Place Board of Directors, the Camden County Freeholders and the Camden County Parks Department, Jake's Place Boundless Playground became a reality in 2011.
Jake's Place stands as a monument not only to the memory of my son Jake, but to the hard work, generous spirit, and boundless love of this community.
With your continued support, we hope to further our cause by building a second Jake's Place in Delran Township for the people of Burlington County.
Thank you to everyone who supported us so we could build the first boundless playground in South Jersey."
- Joseph Nasto (Build Jake's Place Co-Founder/President)