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Monday, September 25, 2017

Congressman Faso and members of the delegation with Camp HASC campers and staff.

(l-r) Camp HASC Executive Director Rabbi Judah Mischel; Rabbi Solomon Stern; Camp Director Shmiel Kahn; Mr. Abe Eisner; Ms. Sandra Gerry of Sullivan County Renaissance Project; Conressman John Faso; Rabbi Chaim David Zweibel, executive vice president, Agudath Israel; Mr. Jeremy B. Strauss, chairman of the board of directors, Camp HASC.

A heartwarming moment at Camp HASC.

Congressman Faso, luncheon co-chair Abe Eisner and camper Yehuda Menkes.

Shimon Ostreicher talking with a camper.

Congressman Faso with Camp HASC Executive Director Rabbi Judah Mischel and co-chair Rabbi Chaim David Zweibel of Agudath Israel of America.

It was a beautiful day of appreciation and unity, as Camp HASC hosted a festive luncheon in honor of Congressman John Faso, representative of New York’s 19th district. Over 40 local and state officials, community activists, politicians and camp directors joined the program honoring Rep. Faso as an expression of our community’s appreciation for Congressman Faso’s ongoing support and friendship.

Camp HASC in Parksville, New York, is the longest-running and most prestigious summer program for individuals with special needs and developmental disabilities.

Rep. Faso and members of the delegation enjoyed a hands-on tour of the beautiful campus, joined recreational activities with the special campers and were treated to an inside look at the educational and therapeutic facilities at Camp HASC.

Campers cheered for Rep. Faso to join them in the pool, and settled for shooting hoops instead. During an adaptive gym class, delegation members jumped into a musical flashmob and spontaneous celebration and enjoyed meeting campers and staff.

Guest speaker Mrs. Ruth Lichtenstein, publisher of Hamodia and director of Project Witness, shared her first-hand experiences as the parent of a child with special needs, and spoke of the importance of summer respite at Camp HASC for the campers as well as their families.

Sandra Gerry, chair of Sullivan Renaissance, which last year presented Camp HASC a $10,000 Community Mitzvah Award for beautifying its facility, also addressed the crowd at the luncheon. A visibly moved Gerry commended the camp for its efforts, noting, “Not only did you get the Mitzvah Award but I think what you are doing is a beautiful mitzvah.”

Co-chaired by Rabbi Chaim David Zweibel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America and noted Askan Mr. Abe Eisner, the first annual legislative delegation and luncheon was an incredible outpouring of Hakaras Hatov, support and Kiddush Hashem.

By Rabbi Judah Mischel