June 3, 2013 – Professor Jim Strazzella has received the 2013
Ida Newman Magic of Play Award for his efforts to save Smith Memorial Playground. The award
is given in recognition of his demonstrated commitment to improving
the lives of children.
A decade ago, Strazzella formed a non-profit when the
century-old historical play site was in danger of closing. Since
then, he has led the board and staff in raising nearly 10
million to make capital improvements and stabilize the budget.
in addition to the Newman award, the tot lot at Smith has been
renamed “Straz Land.”