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Belleville Rotary Helps Special Needs Child

One local camper is attending Camp Merry Heart thanks to the generosity of the Belleville Rotary Club.

Each year, the Belleville Rotary Club throws its support behind several community service projects, including sending a camper to Camp Merry Heart over the summer.

Camp Merry Heart is an Easter Seals camp that provides recreation and other activities for campers with a variety of disabilities.

The 123-acre camp, which is in Hackettstown, offers a bucolic and safe setting for children to experience camp. Joan Taub, Rotary spokeswoman, said the camp provides opportunities for group support, physical exercise and encourages the campers’ self-determination.

 “We have been doing this for years, and are glad to do it again this summer,” Taub said.

Belleville Rotary has sponsored a child to attend the camp this summer. "We are sending a child from the 1st Cerebral Palsy Center in Belleville. Unfortunately, we are now allowed to give the name or to photo anyone," said Kathy Samarati of Rotary International.

The Cerebral Palsy Center is on Sanford Avenue, near Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville. According to its website, its mission is to assist individuals with special needs to lead more active and productive lives within the community, through an individualized educational plan and an integrative therapeutic approach.

Camp Merry Heart is accredited by the American Camping Association and the New Jersey State Health Department. The camp offers fun recreational trips and excursions, and weekend getaways that provide needed respite for family caregivers, Taub said. 

The Belleville rotary has also been involved in other activities:

  • It held its 90th Anniversary Dinner in early May.
  • The Rotary Club baseball team of the Belleville Little League completed an undefeated season at 19-0, taking the Belleville Little League 2012 championship. Parents said the players were great, with awesome coaches and an amazing year. The team was led by Manager Chris Talbot.

The Rotary Club of Belleville meets for a luncheon meeting every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m.  Those interested in attending and becoming part of this worthwhile group are invited to call Taub at 973-450-3434 for more information.

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