Akron Rotary Camp for Children – Renovation Nears End!

$3.3 Million Raised Toward $3.5 Million Goal

5/15/2013, 8:48 a.m.

AKRON, Ohio – Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs in 2010 set out to raise $3.5 million to upgrade its campus on the shores of Rex Lake in Akron. The camp has been serving children and adults with special needs since 1924.

Its worn facilities did not meet the needs of today’s campers. But having raised more than $3.3 million toward the $3.5 million goal, Akron Rotary Camp has renovated seven cabins, built a new bath house and is constructing a new “great hall” resource and recreation center.

The great hall is more than 10,000 square feet, overlooks Rex Lake and has a windmill, cistern and observation deck. It will offer a new large recreation room for campers; have conference space, a health center and elevator; consolidate staff offices into one location; and include a multisensory room, an animal room to house reptiles and a resource room for parents and staff.

“Out with the old, in with the new,” said Mike Wojno, president of the Akron Rotary Camp. “The demolition of our recreation hall and finalization to our new resource center brings us full circle into the next phase of our legacy to kids and their families. New buildings and new excitement – but the same commitment and passion to our mission to bless all involved.”

The Sailing the Course, Together fundraising campaign is co-chaired by Nick and Ruthie George and Jack and Vivian Harig.

“The service and programs have always been topnotch at Akron Rotary Camp. Now, with the improvements of the last two years the ‘bricks and mortar’ match the high quality of the counselors and activities,” said Nick and Ruthie George in a press release.

The Georges stated, “The state-of-the-art bath house, cabins and soon-to-be-completed resource and recreation center enhance the experience of all campers. We now can accommodate many more campers for the day camp programs and the overnights. This was accomplished in the last three years through the generous support of Akron Rotarians, the community and many angels who gave with their pocketbooks, hearts and good old-fashioned elbow grease. As co-chairs, we are truly grateful.”

Three years ago it all started when Rennick Andreoli toured the camp. He and his volunteers built two cabins and then he became a passionate member of the camp board, helping raise thousands of dollars. Now he is stepping up again with volunteers to help finish the resource center and help produce a special event that will help raise part of the last $200,000.

Major contributors to the campaign have included Akron Rotary Foundation, Dick and Diane Wright, Roger and Judy Read, The Lehner Foundation, The Corbin Foundation, Medical Mutual of Ohio’s Community Investment Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, Rennick and Dee Andreoli, Akron Children’s Hospital, the Maynard Family Foundation, Crystal Arthritis Center, J.M. Smucker Company and many more.

To see a day in the life of campers, view www.youtube.com/watch?v=zM2slffu5SU. Campers leave Rotary Camp at the end of each session with lifelong memories and friends and often show more independence and a greater understanding of themselves and their abilities.

“Akron Rotary Camp has benefited thousands of special-needs children and adults, who experience fun, rejuvenation and acceptance because they get to be themselves and not be viewed as outsiders,” said Dan Reynolds, Rotary Camp director. “They learn, create and achieve under caring, trained staff and volunteers. Parents see their children blossom.”

Donations to the campaign are tax deductible and can be sent to Akron Rotary Camp, Capital Campaign, 4460 Rex Lake Dr., Akron, OH 44319. For more information, call 330.644.4512 or visit www.sailingthecourse.org or www.gotcamp.org