At its first-ever fundraising event, Camp Attaway successfully raised more than $36,500 in celebration of its two decades of serving children and families. More than 160 supporters and corporate sponsors attended the Nov. 3 fundraiser at Jailbreak Brewing Company in Laurel.
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman honored Camp Attaway and Dr. Saul Lieberman, co-founder and camp director, with a proclamation commending the camp’s service to the county.
“I am overwhelmed and humbled by the tremendous community support Attaway received at our first-ever special event fundraiser,” said Sue Ann Shafley, executive director of Camp Attaway. “Because of the generosity of many corporate sponsors, including Eggspectation and BGE, our lead sponsors and our hosts, Jailbreak Brewing Company, the money raised will go directly to supporting summer camp activities and our scholarship fund, which has awarded more than $281,435 in tuition assistance over 20 years to families in need.”
Founded in 1996, Camp Attaway is a summer therapeutic recreation program for children with emotional and behavioral disabilities, including the autism spectrum. Developed by Drs. Lieberman and David Cooper, a child psychologist and university professor, respectively, Camp Attaway provides children the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to reflect on their own feelings, control their own thoughts and behaviors, attend to social cues, demonstrate empathy and get along with others.
“Camp Attaway was founded with the value that no child would ever be turned away for an inability to pay,” said Ken Williams, president of the camp’s board of directors and senior vice president at Revere Bank. “The board is pleased with the success of our first-ever fundraising event, which will ensure the camp will continue its long-standing commitment to serve children and families, no matter their financial resources.”
Two former campers, Epiphany Taylor, a high school student, and Kevin Johnson, a student at Towson University, addressed the crowd at Jailbreak, sharing their personal experiences and how the camp changed their lives.
“Now that I’m in college and living on my own, the social skills I learned at Camp Attaway have become essential,” said Johnson. “I have made many close friends in my three years at Towson so far. … I can function mostly independently, and I know that I can always turn to my friends if I need support. I am very thankful to Camp Attaway for helping me become better at dealing with people in my day-to-day life.”
Along with children, Camp Attaway also serves the parents, extending the therapeutic benefits from the camp to the home. An education/support group led by a licensed clinical social worker results in a better supported and educated family, with the competence and confidence needed to help their children succeed.
Parent Dana Faria, who volunteered to secure silent auction items for the fundraising event, is passionate about the camp after witnessing a transformation in her own son.
“I am so grateful for Camp Attaway and for the scholarship money I receive that allows my son to attend,” explained Faria. “Before attending, he was shy, aggressive, disruptive and unable to express himself in an appropriate way. Since attending camp, he has become outgoing, welcoming, better able to handle setbacks and can express himself in a more appropriate manner. Camp Attaway has not just improved my son’s life, but our family’s as well.”
For more information about Camp Attaway, visit www.campattaway.org or call 410-730-2633.