(Plain Press, January 2015) The Hispanic UMADAOP Youth Center (Gruss Hall) at 3115 Scranton Road, celebrated its grand re-opening on December 8th.
Jonathan Rivera, the Hispanic UMADAOP Youth Center’s new director, who grew up just down the street from Gruss Hall, says he used friends and contacts from the community to help with the renovation of the Hispanic UMADAOP Youth Center prior to its reopening.
Rivera said friends that work at Sherwin Williams arranged the donation of 20 gallons of paint, planned the color scheme and volunteers from Sherwin Williams painted the interior walls.
Rosa Casiano of the City of Cleveland Recreation Department offered advice and helped to secure hoops, nets and tape for the basketball court.
Randy Balog, retired long time maintenance man at St. Michael’s Church – the Hispanic UMADAOP Youth Center’s landlord, secured the green light from St. Michael’s to make repairs, coordinated and supervised repairs to the roof, the installation of a new heating system, and the buffing and shining of the floor.
A local landscaper, Daniel Burnside volunteered his services fixing up the exterior grounds around the center.
Cleveland graphic artist, Luis Cabrera made the flier for the grand reopening and Joe Dee’s provided the pizza.
Fortune also smiled on the Hispanic UMADAOP Youth Center. Hispanic UMADAOP Executive Director Nelson Ramirez says that a movie crew filming the Michelle Knight story rented the parking lot for a weekend. The proceeds from the parking lot rental will pay for half the cost of having the parking lot paved and restriped, said Ramirez.
Jonathan Rivera introduced 13-year-old Greg Zashin of Shaker Heights to the crowd at the opening. In lieu of gifts, Zaschin asked those attending his Bar Mitzvah to make a donation to Keep Playing Cleveland. The donations resulted in a basket full of sports equipment for the Hispanic UMADAOP Youth Center.
Daniel Wasnick, Executive Director of Keep Playing Cleveland, also attended the re-opening ceremony. Keep Playing Cleveland (founded as part of an assignment in a John Carroll University Non Profit Administration class by Wasnick, Laura Heaton, and Chetan Kapoor) provides sports equipment to help assure that youth centers serving low-income children have the resources for the children to play sports.