DALLAS TWP. — First-position, second-position and plié were executed with grace by 14 children during the Jewish Community Center’s Friends of Camp luncheon Friday, July 22.
The children, who were between 9 to 12 years old, had no previous ballet training. They worked alongside ballerina-in-training Rachel Jones, 17, for a week.
“Some of the children don’t have the resources to belong to a professional studio,” Jones said. “I wanted to show them what they are capable of doing.”
The children were proud to show off their skills during the Friends of Camp event held in the JCC Day Camp’s gymnasium.
The Friends of Camp luncheon is an annual event designed to express appreciation to a combination of nearly 100 individuals and organizations whose donations provide scholarships and programming services, said Rick Evans, the director of camping services.
“Without you (the donors) we can’t do camp,” Evans told the audience of over 300 guests and campers.
The JCC Day Camp hosts between 350 to 400 children weekly during the summer months offering many opportunities to learn new skills and socialize through various activities.
“Many of the children here are on scholarships,” Evans said.
Some supporters honored included: Rebecca Stitzer, creative services director at WBRE/WYOU; Robert Bradley, producer and director at WBRE/WYOU; Frank Gerardi, producer and director at WNEP-TV; Tom Donohue, vice president and general manager at Lamar Outdoor Advertising; Michael Harris, of Pediatric Associates and camp physician; Alex Rogers, president at Bedwick & Jones Printing Company; Rob Friedman, camp chairman; Mitch Kornfield, president at JCA; Attorney Greg Fellerman; the Luzerne Foundation and the JCC Men’s Club.
The United Way, the Osterhout Free Library in Wilkes-Barre and the Back Mountain Memorial Library in Dallas provided the reading program for this year’s camp, Evans said.
State Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Kingston), a former JCC camper, said he had attended the day camp when he was 10.
“You can become anything you want,” Kaufer told the campers.
Ulrich Fuchs of Thornhurst wants to give children some of the opportunities he enjoyed as a child, including going to camp.
“I grew up in Germany. I went to a summer camp in the 1950s, shortly after the war,” he said.
After watching the youngsters’ ballet performance, the senior citizen said, “It brings back memories of attending camp as a kid.”
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.