“I wanted, I think, to acknowledge Luck: the chance of it, the benevolence of it in my life, and the brutality of it in the lives of others; made especially savage for children because they may not be allowed the good fortune of a lifetime to correct it.” Paul Newman
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is dedicated to providing "a different kind of healing" to seriously ill children and their families throughout the Northeast, free of charge. It's a community that celebrates the fun, friendship and spirit of childhood, where every kid can "raise a little hell."
Mention the name Paul Newman and most people will recall his long and successful career as an actor, starring in many critically-acclaimed and commercially successful films.
Some may recall his remarkable career in auto-racing, a sport in which he was active into his early 80s. Triumph enthusiasts will note that in 1976 he won an SCCA National Championship in a TR6 that he bought from the Group 44 organization.
The Hole in the Wall Gang, founded by Paul in 1988, provides summer camp programs at no cost to children who would not otherwise be able to enjoy these opportunities because of serious medical conditions. The camp was built in Ashford, CT and was inspired by settings from one of Newman’s most popular movies, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Thirty years have passed since the camp opened and the facilities and programs have expanded significantly over that period. Paul Newman observed when he started the project that it would grow to the extent its supporters wanted it to grow, and what has been accomplished is truly awe-inspiring.
That, I believe, was the feeling that Janet, Susan and I came away with after our recent visit to the camp. You can take a virtual tour of the camp at https://www.holeinthewallgang.org/ and learn about the programs.
The camp swimming pool offers a good example of how the camp adapts facilities to serve the campers. The pool is heated to 90F to meet the needs of some of the campers and is wheelchair accessible. The dressing room is arranged so that swimmers who cannot cope with temperature changes are able to get dressed in comfort.
Swimming is just one of many activities offered to campers. There are horses to ride, a ropes course , a sports hall (complete with a pool table where Paul Newman would take on a friendly challenge), an archery range, arts and crafts, boating and canoeing, fishing (kiss and release) and more. The camp provides comprehensive on-site medical care for the campers with an infirmary that is staffed round the clock while camp is in session. Additionally, the Hole in the Wall offers year-round programming in hospitals and campers' homes and communities.
I hope you will come to the same conclusion that we did and decide that this is an excellent fit for our Reliability Run, and that you will support the event and the camp by either participating in the Run or by supporting it with a donation to the Hole in the Wall Gang.