|THE HISTORY OF THE NEW ROCHELLE CAMPERSHIP FUND
It was in April 1957 that a handful of individuals got together to try to raise $5,000 to help the Volunteer Service
Bureau, a coordinating agency under the New Rochelle Council of Social Agencies, send 140 New Rochelle
children to camp when there were no other funds available.
That summer, through their efforts, 103 children, chosen through the Department of Family and Child Welfare and
the Salvation Army, made it to camp. But 60 others also selected by the two agencies could not go to camp for lack
of funds. That year the Westchester Children's Association paid for 16 children, but said it would not continue this
Something had to be done. Other social agencies, such as the Visiting Nurse Association, the Boys' Club, the
Guidance Center, and Family Service of Westchester assembled facts about other children who needed the
opportunity to go to camp. The Volunteer Bureau also learned about other children, blind or otherwise physically or
developmentally disabled, who deserved the joys of an experience at summer camp
Thus the New Rochelle Campership Fund was born.
The Volunteer Bureau set up a screening committee to review all applications for camperships and to allocate funds
where the need was greatest. Mrs. Frederic Davidson was named chairman and Mrs. William Schuman, Mrs.
Nathaniel Whitehorn, and Mrs. Robert Frese were the general committee.
Elmer H. Miller, editor of The Standard Star, agreed to have the newspaper publish appeals for the Campership
Fund, accept the contributions and acknowledge them through publication. The newspaper also assumed any
In its first season, 1958, the newspaper appeals raised $4,023. With the help of another $532 donated directly to
the Salvation Army and camp scholarships donated by Blessed Sacrament Day Camp, the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts,
and Masonic Lodge, 158 went off to camp that year.
Since that time the tradition has continued annually, although in a few lean years, the fund could not meet its annual
goal and desperate appeals had to be made for additional funds. In the early years, two weeks at a sleep-away
camp cost $50; now it ranges closer to $400.
For many years, the newspaper and letter appeals generated enough money for the Fund to meet its goal. But times
changed and it became harder and harder to raise the ever increasing amount needed to send the children to camp.
Some fund raisers were held, which helped somewhat.
Then in 1983, the New Rochelle Lions Club, which for many years had been a major supporter of the project,
joined The Standard-Star as co-sponsor of the Campership Fund. The New Rochelle Lions had for many years
operated Brewster Camp for Tubercular Children and later for just needy children from New Rochelle. When the
Lions finally closed the camp, the interest from the sale in 1970 was used thereafter to help the New Rochelle
Thus it was historically only natural for the Lions to become co-sponsor. The Lions continue to make the fund one of
their major fund raising beneficiaries. In 1990 the community newspaper Tomorrow, also became a sponsor,
reporting on Campership and publishing the names of contributors.
In 2002 the Campership Fund is in its 45th year of serving the children of New Rochelle
The fund is operated solely by an executive committee composed of volunteers. There are no administrative costs.
All members of the executive board give freely of their time and effort and the costs of mailings and other matters are
absorbed by sponsors.
All contributions to the New Rochelle Campership Fund are used only to send children to camp. Donations are tax
HOW TO DONATE
|THE NEW ROCHELLE CAMPERSHIP FUND
P.O. BOX 255, NEW ROCHELLE, NY 10804