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  • Sarah Thoma

CAMP HAPPINESS CELEBRATES 95 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED COMMUNITY!!!

Leonardo NJ:  Wednesday, July 10, 2024, from 6:30pm to 9:00pm - The community is invited to bring their own lawn chairs and join the celebration with “Music on the Porch” performed by Shot Gun Bill Anaia and Kevin Liebkemann and others, ice cream, face painting, blindfolded cornhole, and a historic picture display. We also request personal memories of Camp Happiness that will be recorded for posterity.


Camp Happiness has been offering free services to blind and visually impaired individuals in the community for the last 95 years. Pilar Curvy, our Board President, emphasizes the significance of our work, as we are the only organization providing these services not just for the blind and visually impaired, but to their families and caregivers as well. It is worth noting that we do not receive any financial support from the state and rely entirely on the generosity of the community. This is an extraordinary achievement.


Four blind men established the NJ Blind Men’s Club in 1910.  With the backing of two philanthropists from West Orange in 1929, these individuals established a groundbreaking initiative that enabled visually impaired men to acquire essential skills for independent living.  A residence was constructed on the banks of Sandy Hook Bay in Leonardo, providing the occupants with the opportunity to also engage in activities such as fishing, swimming, boating and communal gatherings. The men designate the program as “Camp Happiness” as it provided them with a brief respite from their blindness.  Impressed by their work, Helen Keller sent an autographed picture and personally visited the camp in 1929 to present a letter commending their excellent work.


Today at Camp Happiness, our blind and visually impaired members receive understanding and caring support to assist them in navigating their vision loss. They also benefit from free services, creative programming, educational forums, health and wellness, celebratory events, trips to concerts, restaurants, plays, and other places of interest.  Members are also presented with volunteer opportunities to give back to their community.  

 

Camp Happiness is a program of New Jersey Blind Citizens Association, Inc. and is located at 18 Burlington Avenue, Leonardo, NJ.  The agency is celebrating its 114th year of providing free services to the blind and visually impaired.  It also serves the community on a statewide level with free advocacy, resources, and referral services.


For more information or donate, please call 732-291-0878 or visit the website at www.njbca.org,

 

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