More than 500 former Camp Simcha campers, counselors and staff, along with their families, celebrated Alumni Day on Sunday, July 29 at Camp Simcha’s Glen Spey, New York campus. Participants enjoyed an array of interactive activities and programming with current campers and staff, as well as the opportunity to catch up with old friends and familiar faces.
The circus-themed activities featured alumni-led entertainment by the Shnitzel Guys, Yitzy Haber and Donny Weinraub, as well as the Braun family professional unicycling show. Alumni also enjoyed tours of the campus and a camp-wide barbecue dinner.
“Camp Simcha has touched the lives of thousands of children and families over the years,” said Miriam Tennenbaum, Chai Lifeline director of alumni relations. “Alumni Day is an opportunity for former campers and staff to connect the past with the present and experience the joy of Camp Simcha once again. It is also a celebration of those who have given so much to making Camp Simcha the special place it is.”
The day included the dedication of a technology room in memory of former camper Jon Hecht, with funds raised by several alumni through Team Lifeline.
In addition, alumni made a siyum, completing the entire Chumash and Mishnayos, in memory of Shachar Weissberg, a longtime Camp Simcha camper and counselor. Mordy Rothberg, Chai Lifeline presidium member and a Camp Simcha alumnus, shared a few words of Torah. Rabbi Simcha Scholar, executive vice president of Chai Lifeline, spoke about Shachar’s years at camp and the powerful relationship alumni have with Camp Simcha.
“We are grateful for the special and vital role our alumni play in everything we do,” said Rabbi Scholar. “Their support and involvement over the years have helped us grow Chai Lifeline into an organization that positively impacts more than 5,400 families each year.”
Ari Dembitzer, Camp Simcha boys head counselor, talked about the positive impact Shachar had on so many people during his short life and ended with words of chizuk and nechama to inspire the alumni to continue Shachar’s legacy.
Each summer, close to 500 seriously ill children are treated to unforgettable, medically supervised camp experiences at Camp Simcha, for children battling cancer and other hematological illnesses, and Camp Simcha Special, for children with debilitating chronic conditions. Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special are projects of Chai Lifeline, the international children’s health support network which provides emotional, social, and financial support to children with life-threatening or lifelong illnesses and their families.
To learn more about Chai Lifeline, please visit www.chailifeline.org.