Sons of Italy Invade Camp Helen Keller
SONS OF ITALY INVADE CAMP HELEN KELLER
July 26, 2016, New York – An action packed fun-filled day marked the 7th Annual Activities day between The New York State Grand Lodge Foundation, Order Sons of Italy in America, Gift of Sight and Camp Helen Keller.
“We are always emotionally moved with the reception we receive from the children over the past seven years,” said Marianne Principe O’Neil, Gift of Sight Chairperson, Grade Lodge of New York, Order Sons of Italy in America. “We see it means a lot to them but what many may not know is that it means the world to us too. This is a day we look forward to every year. Our one-on-one interaction with the campers gives us an opportunity to make not only an impact but memories that last a lifetime.”
“The Sons of Italy have had such a positive effect on the children and the Camp for several years now, and it’s not just limited to their annual Activities Day,” said Frank Primeggia, Managing Director of Rehabilitation Services for Helen Keller Services. “Our enrollment numbers have been increasing the past several years and two summers ago they donated an additional new passenger van that allows us to schedule additional outings for all the children. They’ve become a true partner.”
The event was held at Eisenhower Park in Nassau County and included several organized games (race relays and assisted balloon toss), bounce castles, clown, face painting, train ride, musical games, food and of course, the much loved Italian history quiz session. Campers were also entertained by volunteers and a player from the Long Island Bombers professional beep baseball team. The Bombers were recently in the Long Island Classic as well as National Series. The children were taught to swing a bat and play with a beeping baseball.
The Gift of Sight Program of the New York Grand Lodge OSIA began in 1982 and gives assistance to people in need with vision problems. Scholarship Grants are also awarded to high school graduating students who are blind and have vision loss. Nicole Gagliardi – a Camp Helen Keller counselor for the past several years – was one of the recipients of a scholarship in 2008.
Since 1893, Helen Keller Services enables individuals who are blind, have vision loss, DeafBlind or have combined hearing and vision loss to live, work and thrive in the communities of their choice. Helen Keller Services includes Helen Keller Services for the Blind and the Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youths and Adults (HKNC). For further information please visit www.helenkeller.org.