July 17, 2006

Event recognizes Camp Little Giant contributors

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- An appreciation luncheon this week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Touch of Nature Environmental Center will recognize donors and supporters of Camp Little Giant, a residential summer camp for youngsters and adults with disabilities.

The camp takes place at Touch of Nature, a wooded area on the shores of Little Grassy Lake, about seven miles south of Carbondale.


Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are welcome to cover the luncheon. Donors, University staff and campers will be available for interviews at 12:15 p.m. Camp Little Giant is seven miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road. Signs at the camp entrance will provide directions to Freeberg Hall, site of the luncheon. For more information, contact David L. Gename at 618/453-1121.


The event is set for Thursday, July 20. Lunch with campers begins at 12:30 p.m., with the recognition ceremony starting at 1 p.m.

Camp Little Giant could not operate without the assistance of corporations, businesses, community service organizations and individuals, said Touch of Nature associate director David L. Gename. The donations and in-kind support reached an all-time high in 2006, he said.

"They all provide a tremendous amount of materials we depend upon every summer to assist with our clients," Gename said.

More than 225 campers between the ages of eight and 80 years old participated in programs.

Among those expected to attend are SIUC officials; Southern Illinois Healthcare President and CEO Dr. Thomas J. Firestone; Terry Glennon of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago; Becky Bundren, marketing director of Southern Illinois Surgical Appliance; Tanner Bacon, director of events for Pi Kappa Phi's PUSH America Program; George Sheffer of Murdale True Value; and Bob Hardy, general manager of Illinois Centre Mall.

SIUC operates the center and prides itself on its expertise and experience in providing therapeutic recreation to special populations. The residential camp is co-educational. The camp has been providing continuous summer camping programs since 1952, and was the nation's first university-affiliated residential camping programs for people with disabilities.

Providing community outreach programs and serving others are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.