WEST CHESTER, PA — Bournelyf Special Camp in West Chester is rarely in the spotlight. On its quiet yet lively campus on South New Street in West Chester, the non-profit unassumingly lives out its life-affirming mission to support those in our community with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
And yet this week, Bournelyf will quite literally be in the lights thanks to PECO and its Crown Lights program. Now through Thursday, the lights at the top of the PECO building at 23rd and Market Streets in downtown Philadelphia will broadcast a special message to the region from Bournelyf – a message of celebration in honor of World Down Syndrome Day.
World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated worldwide on March 21. The 21st day of the third month was chosen as World Down Syndrome Day to signify the trisomy of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. And Camp Bournelyf is thrilled to help celebrate 3/21 in lights.
“We’re grateful to PECO for helping promote World Down Syndrome Day,” said Anne Catlin, executive director for Bournelyf Special Camp. “And we hope it helps shine a light on the importance of celebrating, embracing and supporting all those in our community with special needs.”
It is just that message that Camp Bournelyf has been putting into practice since 1980. The organization hosts a summer camp throughout July and August for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Monthly activities and excursions are also held throughout the year for its campers.
While registration for its summer camp is now open, and camp fees help offset Bournelyf’s budget, the non-profit does rely upon the support of the community to continue to successfully strengthen its services.
This past month, Camp Bournelyf was the beneficiary of a $7500 grant from the Connelly Foundation to support the camp’s mission, and plans are now underway for Bournely’s 9th annual Hand-to-Hand Benefit 5K Run and 2 Mile Walk.
The Hand-to-Hand Benefit is one of Bournelyf’s largest fundraisers of the year, raising some $60,000 since the inaugural run. This year’s event will be held at Rustin High School at 9:00 A.M. on May 4.
Given the May 4 date, which has been promoted in popular culture in recent years as Star Wars Day, Bournelyf’s 5K has chosen as its theme this year, “May the Fourth Be with You.” Don’t be alarmed if you see some wookiees or Jedi knights running around Rustin’s campus come May 4. They’re just supporting a great cause, with or without a lightsaber in hand.
Those supporting this year’s Hand-to-Hand 5K and 2 Mile Walk include Videon Dodge, M&T/Wilmington Trust, Stephano Slack, LLC, Spina and Adams Collision Services, Wegmans, Baccellieri Family Dentistry, and many supportive families.
All funds raised will help ensure that more campers get to experience Bournelyf Special Camp.
To support Bournelyf and register for the walk, visit www.bscwc.org.
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