The Block Island Times

'Coins for Campers' fundraiser a huge success!

By Gloria S. Redlich | May 01, 2012

According to kindergarten teacher Deborah Hart and second grade teacher Barbara Michel, the recent fundraiser encouraging students and their families to scour their homes for coins to share with Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp brought in $2,765. 22.

Describing the project as a combined effort by the entire student body — from kindergarten to the 12th grade — as well as by parents and community members, the two teachers were effusive in their praise of all. For the past several weeks, students from all grades rolled coins, which, after being supplemented by larger gifts from the community, grew to become a significant tally to benefit Newman’s camp, which enables terminally ill children to enjoy a week of summer fun.

The original camp was named for the gang in Newman’s film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” It was built in Ashford, Conn., occupying approximately 300 acres that include a 44-acre lake, on land that was part of a huge farm. Upon founding it in 1989, the late actor envisioned a camp “where kids with serious illnesses could be kids!”

The children engage in horseback riding, boating, swimming, fishing, archery and crafts. Set up as a non-profit residential camp, it serves children and their families who are coping with cancer, HIV/AIDS, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia and other serious illnesses.

Over the years, the Association of Hole-in-the-Wall Camps has developed as an international group to make camping possible for seriously ill children around the world.

For the Block Island School, Hart and Michel have extended their appreciation to all the students, parents and members of the island community. In a letter to the public, they write, “On behalf of Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children with life-threatening diseases, we would like to thank you all for the wonderful support of the Coins for Campers fundraiser. Because of your generosity, we exceeded our goal of raising $2,500 to send a child to camp. We would also like to thank Washington Trust Company for their help with this project. This was another example of how Block Islanders so thoughtfully supported people in need!”

Those interested in learning more about the camps may visit To make a contribution, send checks to 555 Long Wharf Drive, New Haven, CT 06511.





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