Star power in Spa City

In the off season, the Double H Ranch has created an adaptive winter sports program which allows children with physical limitations to experience downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. About 400 children take advantage of this program each year. Additionally, another 1,200 people are served by a family based fall and spring program.

In an effort to continue the expansion of programs and facilities while maintaining the excellent level of service, the Double H Ranch's board of directors is seeking to gain enough gifts and pledges to create a fund of $15 million. The annual earnings from the fund, expected to be about $800,000 per year, will assist with the operating budget for the camp. Using additional income from special events, camperships and annual gifts, the board feels certain the Double H Ranch will continue to be able to provide the camp experience.

The two-year, $15 million campaign is being called "The Campaign for the Health and Happiness of Special Children." Price Chopper's President and Chief Operating Officer Neil Golub and Dr. Walter Robb are serving as campaign chairs for the campaign. Both serve on the Double H Ranch's board of directors.

Newman serves as the honorary chairman of the board of directors for the camp. The Double H Ranch is the second of nine camps that fall underneath the umbrella of The Hole in the Wall camps.

"When we started these camps we had no idea the profound impact it would have," said Newman. "I had no idea it would start sprouting like mushrooms."

The original camp is located in Connecticut. There are three other camps in the United States, as well as camps in Ireland, the United Kingdom, France and Israel. Newman visits each camp at least once a year.

"Parents come up and say that's what their child lives for and stays alive for, to come back to these camps," said Newman.

McCarthy summed it up.

"I'm just really glad that Paul Newman had the inspiration to make the camp for kids . . . to know that someone actually cares whether they have a disability or not," she said.""

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