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Camping at Cradle Beach in any one season is a matter of days.

But the effect and memories of those days survive far longer, a lifetime even.

The subject arises as the 45th annual Buffalo News/Rotary Club Crippled Children's Camp fund drive now stands at $15,301.87. The drive, which will continue through New Year's Day, will buy 12 days of camping for more than 800 selected boys and girls on the grounds that lie off Old Lake Shore Road near Angola.

Read what Cradle Beach camping has done for others:

"It was at Cradle Beach Camp that I confirmed my love of handicapped children," wrote Karen Ruckle Wilcox, a former counselor, on the occasion of the camp's 100th anniversary. "Cradle Beach Camp was the place where my self-esteem rose 100 percent, and I learned that I was someone: capable of lots of things."

Karen Kent Nash, a former camper, wrote:

"I think about Cradle Beach often -- even this many years after the time I spent there. It is certainly one of my fondest memories, and I still harbor the hope that sometime I will return, if only to introduce my children to the part of me that Cradle Beach Camp represents."

Ricky Marable, who now teaches emotionally handicapped and learning disabled children in Virginia Beach, Va., wrote that her time at Cradle Beach "taught me to love people -- and that cannot be done without involvement."

The 1991 season, four 12-day sessions in July and August, will continue a program that started in 1888. The new season once again will bring handicapped and other children from ages 8 to 17 to the camp. All are invited, recommended by professionals. Half are physically handicapped, and the others are invited for other reasons.

Jack C. Anthony, camp director for , caring
30 years, welds a program that gives a lift to children whose activities too often are limited.

The games, the swimming, the singing, the praying, the attention and nutritious food at Cradle Beach very quickly convert strangers into buddies who build their own versions of the Cradle Beach spirit.

The News invites its readers to share in the work by mailing donations to The Buffalo News Camp Fund, Box 100, Buffalo, 14240. The gifts will be acknowledged and used only for camp purposes. The News supplies the collection costs.

A list of today's acknowledged donors appears on Page D3.

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