Tag Archives: muscular dystrophy

Local CT Schools, Restaurants + Markets Come Together to Help Camp Promise

25 Feb

Group Shot Camp Promise“Camp Promise is a big treat for me and all the kids and their families. We experience the time of our lives with activities we get to do and a chance to make new friends. The cabins have so much room, the food is good. We have counselors that are almost the same age as us which I like, and they’re very nice. I like that campers and counselors have things in common, like going to college and finding jobs. The fundraising in Stamford is great. We’re so happy that people care about us and keep hope alive for a cure as well” Nicholas, 20, camper at Camp Promise.

If you’ve been with us for a year or two, you might remember that around this time we talk about Camp Promise and all the great things that they do to provide a great camp experience to people with muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular disorders. Through fundraising, campers are able to attend for free, sometimes getting the chance to do things that they never dreamed of like go to a dance, swim, or play a sport. It’s a great cause and for people in Fairfield County it’s easy to help raise some dinero for this great cause.

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Stop by Garden Catering + Other Local Spots to Help Fund Camp Promise + Fight ALS

27 Feb


Time flies…it’s unbelievable to think that this is the third year that we’ve talked to everybody about the Camp Promise fundraiser, organized by our friend James Lacerenza.  Oh, and do you know what else?  Swineus Fugit!  Pigs Fly!  (You like how we worked that in?)

That’s because Garden Catering in Greenwich ( 177 Hamilton Avenue), Old Greenwich ( 185 1/2 Sound Beach Avenue), and Stamford (235 Main Street) are selling Flying Pigs to help raise money for Camp Promise East.  This very worthy organization allows people of all ages who have muscular dystrophy to attend a safe, fun, and interactive summer camp.  Some of these kids and adults who attend have never had a chance to swim, play sports, or rarely get the chance to interact with others in a fun way, so Camp Promise is amazing for them.

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Olio in Stamford Hosts Fundraiser for Local Hero James Lacerenza

18 Oct


James Lacerenza is the kind of person who never thinks about himself or his own happiness.  Instead, he’s always working hard, giving his time, energy, and heart into organizations that mean so much to him.  We’ve talked about James and his passions in the past, namely his fight to help those with muscular dystrophy.  In truth, he has raised more money than any of us will probably ever raise in our lives.  We’re talking over $135,000, yet that number climbs every year and with every event.

But, here’s the thing about James.  Because he cares so much about others and raising money, he doesn’t think about himself or his own needs.  We can understand his reluctance to reach out to others and to ask for help when he knows there are so many in the world that need help, love, and support, but we think it’s time to do more for him.  That’s why Olio has teamed up with Backyard Humanitarian to create a special fundraiser this coming Thursday.  All you need to do is stop by Olio in Stamford on 10/24 (we recommend you call (203) 817-0303 for reservations first) and eat up.  Steve and Moira will donate 20% of all sales and the staff has generously agreed to donate all of their tips.

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SBC and Garden Catering Raising $ for Local Muscular Dystrophy Camp and ALS Research

18 Apr

Southport Help Line Beers 2013

Southport Brewing Company

Last year we told you about something special that Southport Brewing Company does.  They have a special “Help Line” that you can ask for.  You’ll get to pick any of their house brews, but just for asking for the “Help Line” you’ll be donating .50 to a charity that they have chosen.

The two charities that they are currently collecting for (.25 per beer goes to each charity) goes until the end of June and are near and dear to us.  The first charity is ALS TDI who is working hard to wipe out ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  According to their site, “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to paralysis, due to the death of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain. There is no known cure for the disease…the average patient survives only 2-5 years following diagnosis.”  The second charity is Camp Promise East who hosts a summer camp each year for people of all ages with muscular dystrophy.  The collection of funds for both charities is going on now until the end of June, so if you’re having some SBC brews, remember to ask for the “Help Line.”  You’ll be helping out big time.

Garden Catering

And also Garden Catering of Old Greenwich is helping raise money again, too.  They’ll be donating a portion of their sales to the same two charities on May 22 from 2 to 7 pm.  They’ll be donating 10% of all in-store sales and will donate 20% of all gift card sales.  You know what that means?  Yup!  Plenty of birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Halloween, Groundhogs Day, and any other holiday where you get presents for the people you love.  Or, maybe you’ll just hoard them for yourself to make that next trip to Garden Catering a bit easier?

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Local Community Bands Together to Send Campers with Muscular Dystrophy to Camp Promise

22 Feb

Last year we told you all about a great group of people coming together to help send kids and adults with muscular dystrophy to summer camp.  Normally, summer camps are too strenuous and aren’t built around the unique needs of these great campers, but Camp Promise East in Hebron, CT is anything but ordinary.  They have created a summer camp experience that becomes the highlight of each camper’s summer experience.  Here’s a bit of what campers do from The Jett Foundation site:

For younger campers, camp is a time to enjoy arts ‘n crafts, scavenger hunts, swimming, visiting animals, and other age-appropriate activities while enjoying the company of other campers who have similar physical needs. The week allows these campers to become comfortable around people in wheelchairs and other medical equipment, eventually easing the transition to using these devices. Inevitably, curious younger campers ask questions about the older campers’ conditions and sometimes their own. Our counselors are not only trained to handle these questions appropriately, but also look to parents for guidance in case these questions arise during the week.

 Older campers enjoy programming that caters to their needs. This includes later curfews, later wake-up times, exclusive pool hours, our Transitions Program, age-appropriate movies, and more. And, when we do have camp-wide activities like Casino Night, we make sure older campers get a little something extra out of the events. Theme Days challenge campers and volunteers to be creative and show off their best ideas. Forget Crazy Hair Day and Twin Day, campers of all ages enjoy dressing up with our unique themes like As Seen on TV, Inanimate Object Day, and Safari Day. As one parent put it, “Even packing for Camp Promise is fun.”

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SBC Raises Money One Beer at a Time for Camp Promise East. Next Up: CT Challenge

22 Jul

Yes, James IS that awesome…

Waaay back on May 3 we told you about Southport Brewing Company hooking up their “Help Line” taps at all 5 locations.  The purpose of the “Help Line” that poured out “Sweet Emotion”?  Raising money for The Jett Foundation’s Camp Promise East in Hamden, Connecticut.  For each glass, SBC gave .50¢ that helped children and adults with muscular dystrophy get the chance to attend an awesome summer camp.  The fundraiser is the brainchild of James Lacerenza, who has an official day named after him in Stamford for the awesome work that he does and to bring awareness to muscular dystrophy.

Well, we’re pleased to announce that on Tuesday, July 24, SBC in Stamford will be presenting James with a check.  How much you ask?  Well, let’s just say that over 1,500 “Sweet Emotion” beers were sold.  No, no, that wasn’t just us drinking all those beers.  You can meet James and celebrate with him and SBC from 1-3 pm.  Stop by and show your support.

While you’re there, ask for the “Help Line” tap.  This time around, cancer survivors will benefit because each brew that is poured out between July and September means .50¢ towards the CT Challenge.  SBC plans to continue these fundraisers throughout the year and also plans to work with James again to raise money for Camp Promise East!

We decided to bother James and ask him a few questions.  Here’s about an hour of his time that we took away from his WWE watching and endless Facebook posting:

What will the funds raised by SBC mean to Camp Promise East?

I’ve worked with the Muscular Dystrophy Association since 1999, and I’ve raised over 100 thousand dollars for their camps since 2005. If what I saw at MDA’s camp in New York earlier this month was any indication of what the Jett Foundation’s own, separate camp for children and adults with muscular dystrophy will provide, then I can tell your readers that not only will the money raised sponsor one camper going to this week, it will mean inclusion, independence, and bonding with others who are going through the same life experiences and have a whole lot of fun.

How do you feel about the success of this fundraiser?

For our first year of doing this, and my first year of raising money for Camp Promise East and the Jett Foundation, I was genuinely shocked and touched that we were able to pull this off in such a short time frame and raise nearly $1,000. Next year, management at SBC and I both share in wanting to raise a higher total, but the real measure of success is me going to camp on August 1st when the people there will be having a Western themed day with adaptive activities related to being cowboys and cowgirls and a casino night that evening with poker and blackjack just for fun. To see the smiles on the campers faces is just as meaningful as any dollar figure we could produce.

What would you say to all the people who purchased a beer off the help line?

To SBC’s customers, I thank you, management thanks you, the Jett Foundation thanks you, and most importantly, the campers and their families thank you. You have provided them with the ability to participate in a special summer camp when realistically, it would otherwise be very difficult for these kids and adults to do everything camp offers in one specific location. There’s baseball, basketball, the kids get out of their wheelchairs and swim in the water. What people forget to realize is that muscular dystrophy is a group of some 40 plus genetic diseases that gradually rob those affected of their muscle function until they ultimately catch a minor cold and die – so to regenerate some of that strength in a pool alone is priceless.

Not to mention, at Jett’s camp, because there are teens and adults there who are living longer thanks to the public’s support of things like the MDA Telethon, we at Jett Camp are able to help their campers with job placement and relationship advice in a program we call “Transitions” – it’s the first of its kind in America.

Is there any other way for people to still help out?

People can still make pledges – just because MDA camp happened earlier this month and Jett camp is happening in two weeks, that doesn’t mean we don’t need their pledges – because we don’t charge the families of these campers at either place, we need money to cover not just their experiences, but all the supplies and food and the transportation and even the medical services should a camper get sick.

So I encourage people to think about their healthy children, and if they’re blessed enough to have healthy children, either come down to SBC in Stamford and see me this Tuesday, and we’ll take up a collection in a bucket like Jerry Lewis used to do on his telethons, or, if you can’t make it – go to my website http://www.mdactkids.org and give one dollar, five dollars, anything, to one or both camps. I don’t need people to pledge big amounts of money. I raise 20 thousand a year for these places because people give one dollar at a time.


Branford 850 West Main Street
Branford, CA 06405
W Main & Mathew Road
Hamden 1950 Dixwell Ave
Hamden, CT 06460
Cross Streets: Dixwell & Weybosset
Milford 33 New Haven Avenue
Milford, CT 06460
New Haven & Broad
Southport 2600 Post Rd
Southport, CT 06890
Cross Streets: Post & Pequot
Stamford 131 Summer St
Stamford, CT 06901
Cross Streets: Summer & Broad
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