Willow Ann Sirch
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp
(203) 772-0522 (w)
(203) 285-0050 (c)
For the 25th Year, Greens Farms Academy Students Ride for Paul Newman’s Camp
School has raised more than $200,000 to date for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp
New Haven, Connecticut – May 6, 2011 – Even before Paul Newman's dream of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp became a reality, Greens Farms Academy (GFA) students were hard at work raising seed money to create this haven for children with cancer, sickle cell anemia and other life-threatening illnesses. Twenty-five years and $200,000 later, GFA students once again are gearing up for their annual Paul Newman Hole in the Wall Bike-a-thon scheduled to take place on Friday, May 13th in Greens Farms, CT.
“As a student at GFA, I remember taking part in several bike-a-thons," said Greens Farms Middle School Teacher and Alumna Sarah Ostermueller '94. “While it was a fun day with friends, raising money for sick kids to go to camp was the real benefit."
Greens Farms Academy Middle School Head Andrew Meyer and Middle School Science Teacher Sara Campolettano will lead the event, which will start at 12:30 p.m. Students will ride from the Greens Farms Academy courtyard to Sherwood Island State Park. Those who will be walking, running or rollerblading instead of cycling will be bused to the park and all students will complete laps until dismissal at 2:30 p.m. Since all of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp's services are provided free of charge, funds raised by this event will help to underwrite the cost of children spending an empowering week at Camp.
“We are so grateful for the generous spirit and amazing tradition that the Greens Farms Academy Bike-a-thon represents,” said Jimmy Canton, Chief Executive Officer of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. “The desire of these students to give back by helping other children with life-threatening illness is truly inspirational and a fitting tribute to Paul Newman's legacy.”
In 2001, GFA students were so deeply inspired by their work with the Paul Newman Hole in the Wall Bike-a-thon that they decided to take their fundraising even further, raising funds for ibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), an extremely rare disease of the connective tissue. Their efforts led them to Jasmin Floyd, then five years old, who had been diagnosed with the disease the year before. Jasmin, who attended The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp until she was 15, was reunited with GFA students on April 28th when she and her mother shared their Camp story at a kick-off event for the Bike-a-thon.
About Greens Farms Academy
Greens Farms Academy is a K-12, independent, co-ed day school serving 680 students from southwestern Connecticut. GFA students excel in academics, arts and athletics. The school is known for its academic rigor, attention to character and strong sense of community. The World Perspectives Program, launched in 2010, helps all students better understand global issues and demonstrate a commitment to service learning and creating a more sustainable future.
About The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp
Founded by Paul Newman in 1988, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is a nonprofit, residential summer camp and year-round center in Ashford, Connecticut serving children and families coping with cancer and other serious illnesses and conditions. In addition to its signature summer camping experience, the Camp offers programs from fall through spring for campers, their families and healthcare professionals, serving more than 17,500 children annually. Through its year-round Hole in the Wall Gang Camp Hospital Outreach Program, trained Outreach Specialists bring the joy and healing of Camp right to the bedsides of seriously ill children in hospitals from New York to Boston. All of the Camp's services are provided free of charge.