Renovations announced for Summit community center

SUMMIT, NJ — On Tuesday, Oct. 1, Summit announced improvements and renovations will be made to the city’s community center. The addition of a senior lounge is just one of the improvements that residents can anticipate in the near future thanks to generous donations from corporations, as well as individuals.

“Celgene is an outstanding neighbor and friend of Summit,” Summit Mayor Nora Radest said at the meeting held on Nov. 1 at the Community Center. “We are thankful for this interest and important support. Your very generous contribution will enable us to commence with the community center building project and create a gathering place that best meets the needs of our growing, vibrant city, particularly the needs of our senior citizens.”

The city couldn’t thank the businesses and individuals that donated to the project enough for their generosity.

“We were very happy to announce Celgene’s $300,000 donation to our project,” Public Information Officer Amy Cairns told LocalSource in an email.

The needs of senior citizens will be addressed with the addition of a senior lounge at the community center. Many people remain lifelong residents of Summit, and these residents deserve to have their needs met at each stage of life.

“People come to Summit to raise their families, and many want to stay here and retire,” Radest said at the meeting. “Our community center serves Summit residents at every stage of life. Now, with this renovated and expanded community center, our seniors will have a vital hub for programs and events, offering innovative services that will help to prolong their independence, enhance their quality of life and promote overall health and well-being.”

Those who donated to the project also want to see the seniors of Summit flourishing and leading happy, healthy lives during their retirement years. They hope that the seniors enjoy the new lounge that will be built at the community center.

“Celgene is happy to support Summit and specifically the seniors in our community through this project,” Bob Hugin, Executive Chairman of Celgene Corporation, told LocalSource in an interview. “We hope the Celgene Senior Lounge at the new community center provides our vibrant seniors an opportunity to live healthier and more active lives.”

Radest also took the time to thank the people involved with fundraising efforts to support the new renovations at the community center.

“This project was approved by Common Council with the understanding that the cost would be shared by a private-public partnership,” Radest said at the meeting. “I would like to introduce the intrepid team who led the fundraising effort; Drew Maldonado, Jude Avelino, Regina Feeney and Jamie Colucci. They have worked hard, along with tireless support from Judith Josephs and her staff and I am very grateful to them.”

Seniors currently have nowhere to go in between classes at the community center. The new senior lounge will offer a solution to the current dilemma. The lounge will be equipped with a self-serve coffee bar, fireplace, a seating area and tables and chairs.

“We anticipate the construction to begin sometime during June of 2017,” Director of Community Programs Judith Josephs told LocalSource. “The seniors have been requesting we build them a lounge for the past 10 years. Now they no longer have to leave at 3 p.m. when the children get done with school. In addition to the senior lounge, there will also be a new gymnasium, game room, restrooms with showers and conference rooms built.”

An upcoming fundraiser for the community center will take place at the Summit Grand Hotel on Thursday, Nov. 17. It will feature Dueling Pianos as well as an open bar and food. The tip jar goes towards the Community Center Project.
“This gives residents a chance to participate at a price that’s comfortable for them,” said Josephs.