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Dear Ailene, Cindy and Freedo,
I had planned on saying these things at the awards ceremony on Friday morning. However, I was too overcome with emotion then to be able to speak. So, I am telling you these things now, even though mere words cannot adequately express my thoughts and feelings.
I want to thank each of you for your literally tireless devotion to all of those who attended Camp Angelfish in 2010. Your dedication to, and anticipation of, the needs, wants, and desires of everyone there was truly remarkable. Each of you selflessly gave your all.
I also wanted to express my deep appreciation, even amazement, at the kindness, warmth and humanity shown by the Camp Winaukee staff. These young people from all over the world eagerly and enthusiastically helped whenever they saw the need.
So, on behalf of Nicole and Austin, thank you.
Finally, if you and your respective families are ever in San Francisco, let me know. If I am in town, I will give you a grand tour. If I happen to be in Connecticut then, you can stay at my place in San Rafael.
Ailene, Cindy and Jeff:
I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for the wonderful time Marcello, Jamie and I had at camp this year. It was an absolute joy for us to watch my Marcello participate and interact with the others at Camp Angelfish. We had a wonderful time!
Although the weather was much hotter than expected, this year was more memorable than last year. Not only did Marcello slide down the zip line and climbed the rock wall (again!), he made tie-dyed tee shirt, built a bird house, made a tic-tac-toe game and even jumped off the water trampoline! (and so much more!) He had so much fun! One of the best moments was when Jeff called out Marcello’s name for his “Camper Who Always had a Smile on His Face” Award. Marcello could not get out of his own way because of his excitement and, of course, he had to mug for the “paparazzi” with his trophy.
Again, the entire staff was a pleasure to meet and work with. It was great to meet the new counselors as well as get reacquainted with the ones we met last year.
On behalf of Jamie, Marcello and myself, for not letting us leave, please find enclosed a couple of pictures from our adventure this year at Camp Angelfish. They are a testament to how much fun everyone has during that special week and there is a happy story in each one.
We hope to return in 2010 and have even more fun than we had this year. You and your team do great work for these children. You fill them with self-confidence and a desire to strive to do more. Your team encouraged Marcello to try new things and Jamie and I watch him grow with each new experience.
Thank you, again, for a wonderful week and continuing to do the great work you do for and with our special needs children.
Warmest personal wishes,
Gary, Jamie & Marcello
My son Oliver is on the autism spectrum and has been attending Camp Angelfish since its inception. Cindy and Aileen have allowed the camp experience to change as Ollie has matured.
Many years ago it was about providing Oliver with a ‘life skills experience’ with his aide – working on his own self-care and getting an opportunity to try some sports that he would otherwise never have had access to in a nurturing, totally accepting environment.
It has evolved into an incredible social experience with Oliver, looking forward to the ‘dance boat’, participating in life skills/vocational activities by helping in the mess hall, and enjoying being part of a camp that has room for everyone – to grow – enjoy – share – to be who they are. B
My daughter, Cayla, has been attending this wonderful camp since it first started. Cayla has thrived at this camp and tried daring things that she never would have attempted at home; she has gone tubing, she has mastered the zip line, and she has climbed a rock wall.
These experiences have boosted her self confidence and madde her realize just what she is capable of doing. Cayla’s two sisters have gone to camp with her for the last several years and it is the highlight of their summer.
When they come home from Camp Angelfish, their first question is “Can we go back next year?” From the fun activities, to the sing-a-longs, and the bonding experiences that all of the campers, companions, and staff experience, Camp Angelfish is a one of a kind place.
Going to Camp Angelfish instantly became a tradition for our family. It was inclusive of campers and their siblings – keeping us all together. Cindy and Ailene have created a very special place with fun and interesting events in a spectacular setting. We all look forward to Camp Angelfish every summer!
Rory, Aidan, Tess & Nate D