Written by Garden City Life Staff, Gardencity@antonnews.com Thursday, 05 September 2013 00:00
Amid fanfare and lots of cheer, the children of Camp Helen Keller literally rocked the house this year during their annual camp show.
This year’s theme was “Rock of Ages” and the children didn’t disappoint, belting out classics like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock and Roll” and Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take it”, among others. Working the lighting and audio controls were volunteers from Adelphi’s student program.
“I absolutely loved the show they put on,” said Dianna Kelly-Neghizadeh, grant program manager from Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation. “My husband filmed parts of the program and I can’t wait to share it with our board of directors at our next meeting!” In addition to scores of parents, siblings and friends were Marianne Principe O’Neill, representing the Order Sons of Italy America, another camp sponsor.
The show capped an already action-filled summer of fun. In addition to their regularly scheduled activities (from indoor swimming to adaptive computer instruction to arts and crafts), the children had bouncy rides, tug of war and other games and fun at the Annual Sons of Italy Activity Day in Eisenhower Park, as well as trips to Central Park, Adventureland in Farmingdale and Island Rock in Plainview.
Created in 1953, Camp Helen Keller is a 5-week free day camp for blind or visually impaired children, ages 5 to 15, and is located on the campus of Adelphi University. Adelphi University is one of the first-co-educational colleges charted by the University of the State of New York and the oldest private liberal arts university on Long Island, founded in 1896.
“The show has such a special place in our hearts,” said Thomas J. Edwards, President and CEO of Helen Keller Services for the Blind, which runs the camp. “We love not only their enthusiasm, but watching the children grow over the years.”
Special recognition at the finale was given to 15-year-old camper Alexandra Bartkus, who in lieu of a birthday party this year instead held a fundraiser for the camp, raising over $3,500.
Camp Director Stephanie Trollo
2013 Campers: Alana Ambrosecchia, Daniel Avila, Ashely Barclift, Alexandria Bartkus, Daniel Castro, Jason Collazo, Matthew DeGori, Guiliana DiBernardo, Anthony Dones, Shannon Dorsey, Amy Estrada, Marques Fernandez, Yitzi Fox, Michael Gilroy, Christian Guardino, Shada Irby, Faizan Jamil, Hannah LaRusso, Matthew Lichtenstein, Louisa Lopez, Ryan Mastrelli, Bianca McEvoy, Brooke McGinn, Gabriella Mendonca, Ross Messinger, Ian Mintz, AJ Migliore, Christopher Murphy, Kyle Nealis, Justin Paredes, Selina Persaud, Anna Rostowski, Nicholas Reid, Parker Reid, Robbie Stahl, Gabriella Straker, Yasmine Straker and Michael Taylor