Rocking out with Parents Who Rock 'Go Play Outside' CD to help fund new playground

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Montclair Times

They care about their music.

And now, their recorded music is about caring.

The Parents Who Rock assemblage of Montclair-area moms and dads have released a CD of tunes recorded by lineups of members. The $10 CD is available in 19 locations throughout Montclair, with proceeds being donated to help construct a "universal" playground in Edgemont Memorial Park.

"It's more and more community involvement," said Parents Who Rock founder Alma Schneider of her colleagues and the businesses that have joined in the effort to distribute the CDs.

"We are going to be having a competition among the 19 (businesses), and the winner gets a private Parents Who Rock performance," Schneider said.

Right now, Schneider told The Times, the shops in the lead are Whole Foods, Toast, Watchung Booksellers and Learning Express.

The owners of Toast are having their wait staff compete for who sells the most CDs each day, she said.

"ToryJanes will be donating $10 for a CD to every person spending $100 or more this weekend," noted Schneider.

And, this weekend, there will be a live Parents Who Rock show on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Walnut Street near ToryJanes, at 94 Walnut St.

Inspired by a design offered by C.V. Harquail, a resident near Edgemont Memorial Park, Parents Who Rock will be selling a limited edition"Play Montclair" T-shirt at its show on Saturday. As with its CD, the ensemble will be donating proceeds from sales of the $15 T-shirt, in kids' and adult sizes, to the playground fund.

Sales of the"Go Play Outside" recording are good, Schneider said."We have sold more than 400 CDs and have ordered more that will be in by Dec. 14, she stated.

According to Schneider,"A Huge PWR fundraiser is planned for April as well as town-wide bake sales in February, with help from 'Cooking with Friends.'"

A fellow Montclairite, Alison Bermack, created the Cooking with Friends Club,"an interactive, online cooking community" located at The Web site describes the founding of the club, which has many Montclair members:"Alison believes women need a practical, at-home solution to the age-old dilemma of what to feed their families. Cooking with a friend (or two) provides the solution. Within this community, Alison urges women to use their friendships as an ingredient with which to cook."

Schneider, the founder of Parents Who Rock, is a member of Cooking with Friends who said she loves to cook.

She described the groups' possible collaboration in February 2008 as "joining the super-powers to form an empire of good will."

Good will is motivating many people to establish a full-access playground in Edgemont Memorial Park.

The Township Council has allocated $200,000 for the project, and Montclair has received a $50,000 state grant. However, the estimated cost of a universal, or full-access, playground is $400,000.

Last month, the municipal government created a For All Children Committee to raise $150,000 in private donations. Co-chairs of the committee are Mayor Ed Remsen and Township Manager Joseph Hartnett, with 2nd Ward Councilwoman Robin Schlager chairing a subcommittee, and municipal Community Services Director Steve Wood also involved in the effort.

Susan Irby, a committee member and chairperson of the municipal People With Disabilities Advisory Committee, helped spearhead this playground mission 7 years ago.

"We've been exploring this for years," Irby told The Times, citing fellow residents such as Dorothy Schattner and her daughter-in-law Helaine Schattner; John Cronogue of the Friends of Edgemont community group and the municipal Parks Advisory Committee; Steve Rooney; and the two co-chairs of the Playground Subcommittee, Liza Cohn and Lina Panza, several of whom interacted with then-Parks Superintendent Kevin Ward.

"Mayor Remsen was behind this the whole time, and Joseph Hartnett, too," Irby said.

Citing the proposed playground, Irby said,"It would definitely benefit individuals with disabilities and their families, and provide the opportunity for typical people to participate. It's very important [for all children and adults] to realize that people have different abilities and disabilities."

She said of many people with disabilities:"A lot of their life evolves around their daily needs.

"Play is important," Irby said."When you are three or five feet off the ground, you get a totally different perspective of the world, as a child. There's a whole psychology to it."

In an e-mail to The Times buttressing her observation, Irby stated:"The concept of inclusion and integration is something the Montclair Township People with Disabilities Advisory Committee has been working on for many years, for all spheres of public life à unstructured play is one way children can learn about others with all sorts of differences. Our kids are our future and if they have exposure to others with differing needs and abilities - the hope in this investment is that barriers will be broken down and finally stigma will fade and become a thing of the past.

"The design for this playground has been developed with everyone in mind. It has double wide ramps that will provide opportunities for typical children to be on that ramp and play structure side by side with a child in a wheelchair, using a walker, etc. The ramps also will provide access to a parent with a sleeping child in a stroller to get on the play structure with another child playing.

"The placement of the equipment is in a circular pattern which is in keeping with how kids like to play - we know this because the playground equipment vendors do studies and calculate what works (play is a science for these guys)!," Irby stated.

Contact Mark S. Porter at

'Go Play Outside' CD availability

The"Go Play Outside" CD is priced at $10. All proceeds will be donated to the construction of a"universal playground" in Edgemont Memorial Park.

The CD is available in these Montclair businesses:

Whole Foods



Watchung Booksellers

Learning Express

Milk Money

Montclair Community Pre-K School

Aunt Jean's Toys and Treats

Chelsea Square

The Family YMCA on Glenridge Avenue

The Flour Patch Bakery

The Little Gym

Grove Pharmacy

The Children's Center at MSU

Nest and Co.

Rabbit Rabbit

2nd Floor Haircutters

The Banyon Tree

Valley Road Guitars

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