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(TAYLORVILLE) — Several Taylorville businesses have contributed to the the Camp New Hope Fund, which provides money for local disabled children attend a special summer camp near Lake Mattoon. In left photo, Linda Crawford of First National Bank of Taylorville presents the bank’s donation while in the right photo, Will Perkins of Taylorville Community Credit Union presents their check. Treasurer of the benefit committee, Eric Jostes of Pana, accepts the donations.
The Kids to Camp New Hope Benefit Committee has begun its 2022 fundraising campaign to help send individuals with developmental disabilities from the Taylorville area to Camp New Hope’s 2022 “Summer Camp.” Thanks to donations from several Taylorville area businesses, civic organizations and individuals these past years, hundreds of special needs kids from this area have been able to attend CNH summer camp and respite programs.
The cost to send one camper to one week of summer camp for 2022 is $525. Anyone wishing to make a donation should do so by check, made payable to Camp New Hope, and sent to Eric Jostes, 409 W. DeWitt St. Pana. Camp New Hope is a non for profit organization, and donations are tax deductible.
Camp New Hope began in the 1950’s as a support group for parents of the mentally retarded, who wanted better for their children than institutionalization. In the 1960’s it evolved into the first school licensed by the State of Illinois for the developmentally disabled, and was named “New Hope School.” In the late 1960’s, the Mattoon School District assumed responsibility for the school, and the first camping program took place in its current location on Lake Mattoon. Today, Camp New Hope offers year round programs for special needs individuals. It’s “Summer Camp” program runs the months of June and July, and offers week long overnight camping with activities such as slumber parties, games, sing –a longs, swimming, boating, and fishing. It’s “Respite” program accepts campers two weekends a month, all other months of the year, and gives caregivers an occasional much needed break from their loved one, while providing inspirational activities for the camper. These programs offer hope, fun, adventure and companionship to people of all ages with various disabilities, and allows them to experience activities much like their non-disabled peers.
Kids to Camp New Hope Benefit Committee members are: Lynn Brownback, chairman; Eric Jostes, treasurer; and Tom Phillips, David Dorn, Jr. and Wendy Gorski, directors.