Visit Carroll Park, Brooklyn, in the warm months, and you will most likely be witness to a busy hive of children’s activities being expertly, patiently and lovingly overseen by Kathleen Henderson. Dubbed the “den mother of Carroll Park”, Ms. Henderson is a treasure to the Carroll Gardens community. For the last 16 years, she has worked as a playground associate for the New York City Parks Department, entertaining Carroll Gardens’ children with arts and crafts, organized games and recreation projects during the spring and summer months. In the fall, she turns the park house into a “playhouse”, and also organizes sign language and Spanish classes.
Born in Schenectady, Mary Spink moved to New York City in her late teens. Though life in New York was difficult for a young woman on her own, Ms. Spink soon found her way through volunteer work. It was by giving of her time that she found her true vocation. She worked at many different jobs, but her quick mind, energy and organizational abilities soon pushed her into positions where she could and would make a difference.