Opening Doors, Opening Opportunities

Lifetown was buzzing with excitement on Sunday, August 21, as 135 families arrived from all over Essex County and beyond for an open house. Families toured the building, as children slid hands over the touch walls that line the main hallway, rode the cars and bicycles in the LifeTown Shoppes area, and dug into the sandbox area and enjoyed the playground.

In typical LifeTown fashion there was something for everyone: popcorn and ice pops at the movies, swings and ball pits in the playground. Outside, some threw hoops on the new basketball court, took a ride on the train and jumped into a bounce house, while others took turns petting goats and llamas in the petting zoo or drew masterpieces in colored chalk. 

The large turnout, with over 500 people, including both new and involved families, did not surprise LifeTown staff. “There’s such an intense need for programs for the special needs community,” said Toba Grossbaum, executive director of LifeTown. “Parents who have children with special needs are so thirsty for opportunities and resources. The open house was an opportunity to enjoy the facility while seeing all the things we can do and have someone answer all their questions.” 

An information table sat at the center of it all, a gathering place with program guides and other resources. “We held this event so people will have an opportunity to see what’s going on and appreciate all the activities offered here,” said Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum, CEO. “It’s especially important now, as people are starting to feel more comfortable coming out in public again.”

The LifeTown staff, who were all on hand at the open house, look forward to greeting everyone again at programs throughout the year. A full list can be found at

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