An early December contribution to the Buffalo News/Rotary Club Crippled Children's Camp Fund came from an Eggertsville mother.
In the note that accompanied her check, Mrs. Gertrude G. Schwede remembered:
"From 1956 to 1960, my son, David Schwede, attended School 84. He also enjoyed Cradle Beach Camp with his buddies, Dennis and Bobby. The three rascals played games with Charlie Musser, their counselor.
"David's favorite memory was when they placed a cup of water on Charlie's chest while he was sleeping and then waiting for him to roll over and wake up wet.
"Dave passed away last year a week before Christmas. Please add this contribution in honor of Jack Anthony and his staff and in memory of David M. Schwede."
The donation helped lift the fund that supports Cradle Beach Camp, the 40-plus-acre fun spot on the Lake Erie shore near Angola.
Since 1888 Western New York boys and girls with special needs have been invited to spend nearly two weeks at Cradle Beach Camp.
Counselors like Charlie understand and address those needs in ways that make the campers and their parents anxious for repeat invitations.
The camp fund to date has received $15,956.87. New gifts may be mailed to The Buffalo News Camp Fund, Box 100, Buffalo, 14240. All will be acknowledged.
Each summer, about 800 selected boys and girls are invited to Cradle Beach to spend 12 days of free-wheeling fun under the guidance of a caring staff.
Half the campers are physically disabled. A good many travel in wheelchairs. The remainder are invited for other valid reasons.
The blending of the physically impaired with those who can get around teaches the campers its own lessons.
The camp gifts have come as memorials to loved ones. Individuals send them as part of their Christmas celebration.
Businesses, unions, golf, bridge and bowling groups help the camp. And from classes of schoolchildren whose teachers instruct their pupils early that concern for others is a praiseworthy aspect of life.
The campers have their own opinions. Each of the four July and August sessions puts out an edition of the Cradle Beach Crier, a mimeographed publication where the campers share their feelings:
"I like Cradle Beach Camp," began one message from a youngster who bunked in the Susquehanna cabin.
"I like arts and crafts. I like nature. I love the beach. And I don't like to leave (Cradle Beach Camp) too soon."
A list of today's acknowledged donors appears on Page B6.