YMCA Playground to be Dedicated to the Legacy of Benjamin F. Lewis


Ben Lewis
Ben Lewis

On Friday, November 20, 2009 at 1:30 pm, the West Broad Street YMCA will be dedicating its new playground to the legacy of Mr. Benjamin F. Lewis.

Mr. Lewis graduated from Savannah State College and received his J.D. from John Marshall Law College. In 1945 he became a regular worker with the US Postal Service. In 1963 he was appointed Equal Opportunity Officer for the Savannah Post Office and 1969 he was appointed as the regional EEO from Atlanta. In 1970 he was appointed the National Equal Opportunity Employment Specialist assigned to Washington, D.C. Upon retirement, Mr. Lewis returned to Savannah and on September 1, 1971 he assumed responsibility as the Executive Director of the West Broad Street YMCA.

Mr. Lewis was instrumental in developing programs for local residents to help them access assistance in achieving self sufficiency. Of supreme importance to Mr. Lewis were the children. He had the foresight and courage to challenge the programs of his day and to work collaboratively to ensure that the needs of children were met.

The 3,000 square foot playground was donated to the community through the Home Depot Foundation and coordinated by KaBoom!, a non-profit organization whose mission is to have a playground within walking distance of every child in America. The playground was designed by children in the neighborhood and includes two slides, four climbing walls, and many other activities.

The playground is for children between 2 and 12 and is designed to increase physical activity and motor function.

The playground, although located on the grounds of the West Broad Street YMCA, is open to the neighborhood children.

The new playground at the West Broad Street YMCA is fruit of Mr. Lewis’ efforts. It is only fitting that playground be dedicated to his legacy.

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