The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp

Bandit Blog

Welcome to the Bandit Blog! Here you will find Gala memories and reflections from our community.

Mind, Soul and Heart

Em, wearing her finest duck attire, takes a moment to pose with Peg at the Gala.

At age 12, our beautiful daughter Emily was diagnosed with a brain tumor. In the blink of an eye, all our lives changed, especially Em’s.  She underwent three major brain operations, countless doctor’s appointments, ER visits, endless lab tests and MRI’s. She had lost so much. Em was scared, lonely and depressed.

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by Camper Parents Peg & Pete Carlson  | 

Family, Friends, Camp

Jill and husband Bobby bidding at the 2017 Gala.

I had always been aware of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp from people in my community and thought that it sounded like an interesting organization.I kept saying to myself, “someday I am going to volunteer at Camp.”  I would check the website often, and one night, I clicked the button to volunteer. Next thing I knew, I was attending orientation. I will never forget how nervous I was driving east on I-84 to Ashford, Conn. for my first Family Weekend in 2016.

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by Jill LeBlanc, Gala Attendee  | 

Long May They Sing

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Annie surrounded by camper performers backstage at the 2019 Gala.

Thirty years ago, A.E. Hotchner called the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn. where I was a stage manager. He was producing an event with famed New York producer Robert Whitehead, his composer buddy Cy Coleman, and of course, Paul Newman (yes, that Paul Newman). He was looking for volunteers from the theatre’s production department to help with The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp’s first-ever Fandango Benefit Gala. It sounded both interesting and worthy of our time, so about six of us trooped ourselves up to Ashford.

As I drove up to Camp that first time, I didn’t know how I would work with these children. Although I was the single mother of a healthy six- year-old girl, these campers had gone through more pain in their young lives than I could imagine. I was afraid I would fall apart over those couple of days. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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by Annie Keefe, longtime Gala production team member  |