Meet the Gargs: Centerville-Washington Neighbors - June 2020 issue

Meet the Gargs: Transforming Grief into a Legacy of Kindness

Centerville-Washington Neighbors, June 2019 issue

By Jeff Louderback

Centerville Neighbors magazine did the cover story on the Garg family for its monthly issue for June 2020. Click here for the cover story.

 

Gargs are named Citizens of the Year - Washington Township - Feb 1, 2020

Gargs Are Named Citizens of the Year

Hemant & Arti Garg are OPRA Citizens of the Year - Washington Township - Feb 1, 2020
 
Posted on 02/01/2020

Hemant and Arti Garg Are Recognized as Citizens of the Year

In 2006, Hemant and Arti Garg received the worst news a parent can: That their six-year-old daughter, Yukta, had been killed in a car crash as she was leaving the Washington Township Recreation Center after a day at summer camp.
 
In the 13 years since, the Gargs have transformed their grief into action, founding the Yukta Garg Memorial Foundation to support community efforts that benefit and support the interests of local children. Their fundraising has made it possible to establish three separate playgrounds on the township’s recreation campus. 
  
For their efforts, Hemant and Arti Garg have been recognized as Citizens of the Year by the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association. “Because of their activism and altruism, three recreation center playgrounds reverberate with the sound of children’s laughter, mirroring Yukta’s vivacious spirit,” said Recreation Director Mark Metzger.
  
“We wanted to relate Yukta’s memory with happy things and what she used to love,” explains Arti Garg. “When we see kids playing, making friends, making their own sweet memories, laughing, running around, we see our daughter, Yukta.”
  
Inspired by Yukta’s love of butterflies, the Butterfly Playground was the first to be designed and installed. It was followed by the Nature Sounds Playground that reflects her love of music and includes six large outdoor instruments.
In 2019, the preschool playground celebrated its grand opening in the Rec West building. The play space is protected from the elements, but offers an outdoor neighborhood feeling, said Metzger. “The idea was that it would celebrate Yukta’s passions and be a gift to other children in our community from Yukta herself.”
 
Over the years, the Gargs have organized a series of concerts featuring internationally known singers and musicians from the Bollywood film industry as well as concerts featuring local talent. Together, they have raised more than $50,000 for the playgrounds.
  
“They are so inspirational to me and to many people in the community,” said Linda Madden, retired recreation supervisor who worked with the Gargs on the outdoor projects. “From their efforts, these beautiful play spaces have been created, designed in their daughter’s memory, and are well utilized today within the community.”

Recognitions

Last few months have been very eventful for the foundation:

  • It started with the Community Impact award from Montgomery County Township Association (MCTA) in the month of December
  • Several news broadcasts on Fox and abc news channels in the month of February
  • The Ohio Outstanding Citizen Leadership Award by the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) in the month of February
  • The Proclamation from the Washington Township Trustees in the month of March
  • The cover story in the Centerville Washington Neighbors magazine in its June issue
  • Earlier this week we received the Proclamation from the Ohio House of Representatives.

We feel very honored and excited for these recognitions. It means a lot to us. All these recognitions are not only for us but also for the entire Greater Dayton community including Washington Township staff and trustees. It would not have been possible without their continued love and support. Our sincere thanks to everyone.

Our heartfelt gratitude to:

  • Montgomery County Township Association (MCTA)
  • Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA)
  • Dayton 24/7 Now, Fox, and abc news channels
  • Washington Township Trustees and the staff
  • Jeff Louderback and Centerville Washington Neighbors magazine 
  • State Representative Niraj Antani and the Ohio House of Representatives
  • Greater Dayton Community for their love, support, and generosity
  • Music talents in our community for their continued performances in Bollywood Gala fundraiser events
  • All volunteers for their continued help with our events

Thank you so much... until we meet again...

 

Proclamation from the Ohio House of Representatives 

 

 

Cover Story in the Neighbors Magazine 

 

Centerville Neighbors magazine did the cover story on the Garg family for its monthly issue for June 2020. Click here for the cover story.

 

Proclamation from the Washington Township 

 

The Garg family was presented with the Proclamation by the Washington Township Trustees on March 2, 2020

 

Live TV Interviews on abc22 and Fox45 TV Channels - Feb 6, 2020

 

 

Ohio Outstanding Citizens Leadership Award from OPRA

 

Township Residents Arti and Hemant Garg are Ohio Citizens of the Year - WHIOTV7 - Feb 3, 2020

 Gargs are named Citizens of the Year - Washington Township - Feb 1, 2020

 Local Family Recognized - The Centerville Dispatch - Thursday, January 30, 2020

 

Community Impact Award from MCTA

 

The Garg family was presented with Community Impact Award by the Montgomery County Township Association at its annual event on December 12, 2019

Yukta Garg Foundation donates $10K - The Centerville Dispatch , Thursday April 5, 2018

Yukta Garg Foundation donates $10K - The Centerville Dispatch, Thursday, April 5, 2018

 
For Hemant and Arti Garg, it was an easy decision to give back to Washington Township on the night of Monday, April 2.
 
Their donation of $10000 through their foundation named after their late daughter, Yukta Garg Memorial Foundation, was the latest in a long series of acts meant to show gratitude to the community for its support over the years.
 
Only a month ago, the Gargs raised $10,000 for the township with their Bollywood Gala and at Monday's Board of Trustees meeting, they delivered a new check for the same amount.
 
Following a short speech, the Gargs spoke about what it meant to be so connected to the community.
 
"We got tremendous love and support from the entire community here," said Arti. "Strangers would walk in and just give us a hug. So the kind of love we got, we wanted to give it back to the community. We wanted to remember the community that has stood with us for all time."
 
As for what the Gargs hope the money goes to, they know that it is somewhat small relative to the cost of projects like the Butterfly Playground (named in honor of Yukta's love of butterflies), which opened in 2013 and cost more than $150,000 total. But they also know that the commitment that helped build the parks and their results are what matter most.
 
Hemant said, "It's more than monetary, it's more involvement of the community to come together and help out the township in whichever way they can."
 
As for the Butterfly Playground, Arti expressed great joy in her speech about what the park has become, saying, "It has become a place where relationships are formed, friendships are made and a place where the entire community come together to enjoy."
 
She closed her speech saying, "At times when our own light goes out, it is rekindled by a spark from another person."