H. Raising Money for HOP
It’s that time of year again! Time to sign my kids up for the AngelRide. If you’ve followed me for a couple of years, then you know the AngelRide is a charity bike ride that earns money for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp Outreach Hospital Program (HOP). However, you may not know what The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is. I certainly didn’t know before my friend, Dana Bean, told me about it!
Paul Newman’s legacy
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp was founded by Paul Newman in 1988 in Ashford, CT. (I guess if you are familiar with Newman’s film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, you would recognize the connection. I didn’t). He founded the camp with one goal: that every child, no matter their illness, could experience the transformational spirit and friendships that go hand-in-hand with camp.
The camp aims to provide a rich camping experience for all kids, regardless of their medical or physical handicaps. It is staffed with camp counselors and a significant medical staff that ensures all campers’ medical requirements are met. After a successful first summer, the camp began to offer sessions for healthy siblings of campers as well. In 1992 it expanded again to provide parent programs. The most recent addition to the camp, begun in 2002, is the hospital outreach program (HOP). HOP specialists visit hospitals and clinics throughout the northeast to bring camp-inspired activities to children that are too sick to travel to camp. Last year, HOP made 30,000 child visits!
How is this all accomplished?
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and HOP provide all experiences free of charge to patients and their families. This is accomplished through volunteers donating their time and various fundraising events.
One of the largest fundraisers is the AngelRide. On Memorial Day Weekend bicyclists take to the streets of Connecticut. The most serious of the cyclists ride for 2 days, traveling 135 miles. The less serious riders can make it a one-day event and ride for 50 miles. YoungAdult riders (aged 11-14) join the adult adventurers during the last 22 miles of the ride (Number 2 did this last year and is doing it again this year). Even younger riders (aged 7-11) can push their pedals for 6.5 miles on a separate course on the second day of the event (Let’s go Numbers 3 and 4). Everyone meets up at the end in Mystic, CT for games, fun and food (provided by Mohegan Sun). It’s fun, but it’s also serious – 100% of the proceeds go to HOP.
I am so thrilled that my kids participate in this and I hope they do for many more years to come. If you are interested in donating, hop right on over to our team page.
Blogging my way from A to Z as part of the 2016 April A to Z Challenge. Come blog through the alphabet with me.
Photo from The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp website.