Camp has enough donations to rebuild

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Michelle Warren, The Chronicle, Willimantic, Conn.
·3 min read
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Feb. 23—ASHFORD — Officials at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp believe there are sufficient funds to rebuild following a devastating fire at the camp Feb. 12.

The announcement Monday comes a few days after a $ 1 million donation by the Travelers and Travelers Championship was pledged.

" We are deeply grateful for the tremendous outpouring of kindness and generosity from the thousands of people in our camp family and beyond who brought us to this milestone," Hole in the Wall Gang Camp Chief Executive Officer James Canton said in a press release Monday.

" To every person who donated, every camper family that raised money on social media and everyone who reached out with their prayers and well wishes, know that we are honored by your friendship."

Buildings that housed the arts and crafts area, woodshop and cooking programs were destroyed during the fire at the camp, which is at 565 Ashford Center Road ( Route 44).

Firefighters were able to save the dining hall and infirmary areas, which contained items chronicling the history of the camp, including art pieces.

Several area fire departments responded to the fire.

In an email Monday evening, State Police Trooper Josue Dorelus said there was no update related to the cause and origin of the fire.

Previously, he indicated it could take a significant amount of time to close the investigation. According to camp staff, more than 3,300 donations and commitments have been received since the fire, totaling just over $1 million, including donations from individual

CAMP, Page 4

To every person who donated, every camper family that raised money on social media and everyone who reached out with their prayers and well wishes, know that we are honored by your friendship.

Camp CEO James Canton

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Camp has enough donations to rebuild

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donors, foundations and corporations.

That does not include an additional $ 1 million commitment from the Newman's Own Foundation.

The Newman's Own Foundation requested its donation not count toward the $ 1 million match announced by the Travelers and Travelers Championship.

Canton expressed the camp's " heartfelt thanks" to Travelers, Travelers Championship and Newman's Own.

" It is because of this incredible support that we can now focus our efforts on rebuilding," Canton said in the release.

The Newman's Own Foundation is named after Paul Newman, the late actor who founded The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.

The camp, which opened in 1988, serves more than 20,000 seriously ill campers and their families through camp and an array of other programming on site and off.

Children with many different illnesses participate in programs at the camp, including those with cancer, sickle cell anemia, HIV/ AIDS, hemophilia, metabolic illnesses and other rare diseases. " The fire may have come as a shock, but the outpouring of support was hardly a surprise," Travelers Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alan Schnitzer said in the press release.

" The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp has touched many lives and countless hearts. We're honored to do our part to help the camp recover and rebuild stronger than ever."

The camp has been a primary beneficiary of funds from the Travelers Championship, a Professional Golfers' Association tour event in Cromwell.

Three- time Travelers Championship winner Bubba Watson announced his $ 25,000 commitment toward the cause in response to the match announced by Travelers and Travelers Championship.

According to the press release, he also donated $ 200,000 to the camp after his win at the 2018 Travelers Championship.

For more information on The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, including how to donate, visit www. holeinthewallgang. org.

Follow Michelle Warren on Twitter — @ mwarrentc.