LAKEWOOD, NJ – It started just over a decade ago when Lipa Schwartz began organizing events to help sick children in an attempt to brighten their day. In the time since Schwartz has taken his Misameach program from a roadshow to a brick and mortar fun zone for children suffering from cancer, disease, and disabilities.
The current location of Misameach is in a strip mall on the Lakewood Jackson border. Now, Misameach has outgrown that center and is now building a new 15,000 square foot indoor and outdoor complex on Cedarbridge Avenue in Lakewood as he continues to deliver dreams to children across the greater Lakewood region, including Toms River, Brick, Jackson, and Howell.
In a nutshell, Misameach is essentially a Make-A-Wish type foundation primarily for Orthodox Jewish children, but anyone is welcome. When Schwartz opened his Jackson center, he hosted a Christmas party for children in Jackson.
This week, mayors and elected officials joined Schwartz and Misameach in the groundbreaking ceremony in Lakewood. In attendance were Toms River Mayor Maurice Hill, Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles, Brick Township Mayor John Ducey, Ocean County Commissioner Virginia Haines, and others.
While its official slogan is “Make a Smile”, Misameach will be able to generate more smiles at its new campus which includes an indoor basketball court, arcade room, private rooms, outdoor picnic areas and an outdoor playground.
Misameach hasn’t given up on extending out into the community either, according to the organization they’re still doing around 85 hospital visits each month.
“Misameach volunteers regularly visit dozens of hospitals and hundreds of homes to bring joy and fun to individuals with illnesses and physical disabilities. Singers, instrumentalists, dancers, magicians, jugglers, clowns, comedians, storytellers, we have them all,” the organization stated. “We tailor each visit to the appropriate age, situation, and taste. This flagship program now completes more than 85 visits each month.”
|Photos from Toms River Township Government, New Jersey’s post|