Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Campers In Hendry County

LABELLE, FL. -- Twenty-one adults with disabilities made lifelong friends during the inaugural session of Trailways Camp in LaBelle. The camp is a partnership between Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida and The Robert V. and Benjamin G. Miller Fund.

The session, which ran from October 22 through October 25, included fishing, campfire roasts, a visit by Special Equestrians, swimming, a talent show, a Halloween party, and more. The four-day camp was held at the Riverside Retreat Center in LaBelle.

The Trailways Camp mission is to remove the social isolation often felt by people with disabilities by providing opportunities for fun, friends and support. Through outdoor activities, group exercises, crafts, and more, campers have the opportunity to develop recreational skills and build relationships.

“Some of our campers rarely get a chance to experience anything like this. It offers them an opportunity to socialize and be active while also giving their caregivers respite,” says Kirsten O’Donnell, a Goodwill spokesperson. “Our campers truly enjoyed their stay at Trailways. This is a program we look forward to continuing.”

On Tuesday, Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-27) and several of her staff members stopped by to volunteer. They assisted campers on a hayride, served lunch, and helped participants paint pumpkins during a Halloween arts and crafts project.

“I don't believe there was a moment when a camper wasn't smiling,” says Benacquisto. “I applaud Goodwill for their diverse programs and their ability to enrich so many lives.”

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