The Middlesex YMCA celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Camp Ingersoll in grand style with a Gala on September 17, 2011. Over 100 guests enjoyed a great night of camp stories, good food, and a live band. Henry Coe presided over the dedication of Phelps and Loretta Ingersoll to the Wall of Honor followed by a moving speech by Joshua Lesse past camper and current camp staff member. Josh spoke about his love and appreciation for Camp Ingersoll and shared how attending camp was instrumental in helping him overcome childhood insecurities and social issues that plagued him as a result of being over weight when he was young. Josh is now a successful college student who aspires to be a pediatrician. Josh served as the voice for thousands of children who have been positively impacted over the past 50 years through their participation at Camp Ingersoll.
The YMCA is proud of the important youth development role that Camp Ingersoll has had in our community and we look forward to serving many future generations of young people. To commemorate this important milestone, plans are underway to raise funds to build a special gathering place. Once built, this gathering place will allow campers to assemble in a comfortable place each morning and afternoon to participate in the traditional flag raising/lowering and camp skit ceremonies. These important community building activities have been part of the Ingersoll tradition for the past 50 years and a seated gathering place will insure that this tradition is bigger and better than ever for generations to come!
The Gala kicked off the fundraising with the support of our event sponsors: thank you Aetna, Pratt and Whitney, Comcast and CL&P. During the evening guest bid on great silent auction prizes donated by Teresa Opalacz and Ken Landy, Malloves Jewelry, Comcast, Jennifer Zettergren, Mohegan Sun, Carol Buchanan, Craftsteak and F. James Ifkovic. There was also a fun balloon raffle with prizes donated by Lino’s, Durham Fair, Perk on Main, DaLaur’s, Brownstone Exploration, Portland Paint and Hardware, Palace Theater, Fiore’s, Time Out Tavern, Blackbird, Subway, Illiano’s, First and Last, Portland Electric, Uncle Bob’s, Tuscany, Echo Trading, Stop and Shop, Little Rooster, Hope & Stetson, Expect Discount, Mondo, Lyman Orchards Golf Course, Agway, and EG Salon. Special thanks also goes to Best Cleaners, Kim’s Cottage Collections, City of Middletown Parks Department, Uncle Bob’s, Margo Chase, and Anthony and Aline Grandazzo for donating goods and services in support of the event.
The celebration may be over but the work is just beginning to raise the funds needed to build this beautiful gathering place. To support our efforts buy a brick, bench or seat and dedicate to your special camper, in memory of someone special or to the future generation of campers who will benefit from your generosity. We are grateful for the support of the community and look forward to our next big event being held in our wonderful new gathering place.