More schoolchildren are among the donors to The Buffalo News/Rotary Club Crippled Children's Camp Fund. Their holiday gifts helped build the fund to $52,473.30.
The money will buy 12 days of summertime fun and companionship at Cradle Beach Camp on Old Lake Shore near Angola for about 400 boys and girls with physical handicaps and about 400 others whose needs are just as real, if less visible.
The 1991 Cradle Beach Camp will be held next July and August, continuing a tradition that began in 1888 when some well-off Buffalo residents invited some underprivileged, underfed children to a modest camp. Since then literally thousands of youngsters have enjoyed their days at the camp.
The camp features swimming, hiking, arts and crafts, good eating, learning that others have problems that can be overcome by the warmth of friendship and counselors who both care and carry.
Among today's donors acknowledged on Page C4 are Doris Nagel's third-graders at Eden Central School, Pamela Ritter's fourth-grade class at Cayuga Heights Elementary School in Depew and sixth-graders from the Blue House at Lancaster's Aurora Middle School. Others include parents, teachers and staffers at the Winchester Elementary School and office workers at Hamburg Junior High School.
The current drive is the 45th time that The News has invited readers to help Cradle Beach Camp. Gifts may be mailed to The Buffalo News Camp Fund, Box 100, Buffalo 14240. All will be acknowledged.
An employee of the state Labor Department kept an earlier promise to send a second $25 gift to this year's drive.
The donors include people able to enjoy themselves, like the women bowlers of the Wanakah Country Club.
Many gifts are sent to honor the memory of a relative or colleague. Others are sent in gratitude for the blessing of healthy children or grandchildren.
Do the campers and counselors remember their Cradle Beach days?
"I have a lifetime of memories of Cradle Beach as a camper, pioneer camper and counselor," Karen Southworth wrote. "I have met so many terrific people, and I'll always remember them. Even now, I occasionally sing the old camp songs, especially 'Goodbye to Winter.' "
Jean Amrein Banker, a counselor in the 1970s, wrote: "I would love to come and show my family Cradle Beach and let them see why it holds such a special place in my heart."