North Shore Holiday House volunteer helped LI camp earn accreditation

Susan Viviani, 65, of Melville, was North Shore Susan Viviani, 65, of Melville, was North Shore Holiday House's board president from 1996-98, during which time the Huntington nonprofit earned accreditation from the American Camp Association. Photo Credit: Chuck Fadely

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Girls at North Shore Holiday House take Zumba classes, paint and frequent museums. Just as the campers have a favorite activity, the volunteers do, too.

For Susan Viviani, it's the reading program.

"Every summer they allocate a night or two a week and volunteers, young and old alike, read for the night before they retire to bed," said Viviani, 65, a former president of the Holiday House advisory board who still volunteers. "You go down and read them bedtime stories."

Viviani, of Melville, and her husband, Joe, would take their son, Jason, when he was only 3 or 4.

"We'd go to read for the 7 year olds . . . which he still remembers today," Viviani said of her son.

Like many others, Viviani stumbled upon Holiday House in the late 1980s after moving to Lloyd Neck and learning about it from a neighbor across the street. She was the nonprofit's president from 1996-98, during which time Holiday House earned accreditation from the American Camp Association.

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Viviani is proud of both the work she did in helping Holiday House get accredited and in how the organization continues to bring together the community. She cites the Christmas tree sale the group did for at least a decade.

"That was very much a family community affair -- getting together the entire weekend, putting them on people's cars, and just celebrating for the weekend," she recalled.

Viviani said she doesn't worry about Holiday House having help for the next 100 years after seeing the attendees at the recent spring fundraiser.

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"I went to the benefit, and there were children there of people who were on the board," Viviani said. "And now they're participating as well. So it's very generational, it's great."

 

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North Shore Holiday House prides itself on being able, a century after its creation, to "continue to provide a quality camp program for girls in need at no cost to them."

To help raise money for its camp operations, the organization has a thrift shop that accepts new or gently used and clean clothing, housewares, jewelry, toys, small furniture and other items. It is closed when camp is in session and will reopen in September. For more information call 631-427-2944. To learn more about North Shore Holiday House, call 631-427-7630 or email nsholidayhouse@yahoo.com.

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YOU MIGHT CONSIDER . . .

Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck in Center Moriches is for children and young adults ages 6 to 21 with physical and developmental disabilities. Contact: 631-878-1070.

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Shibley Day Camp, which covers 20 shaded acres in Roslyn Heights. The 85-year-old camp is open Monday-Friday, 9 to 4:30 p.m., from June 30 to Aug. 22 and offers programs for junior and senior campers 3 to 13 years old. Campers can stay for all 8 weeks, but a 4-week minimum (which can be completed consecutively or in increments at the camper's discretion) is required. There is a four-week miniday program for 3- to 5-year-olds who aren't ready to be away from home for a full day, and year-round camping activities on weekends include tai kwon do classes, spring carnivals, pool parties and bus rides. Contact: Bill Brodsky, director, at 516-621-8777 or director@shibleydaycamp.com. For more information, go to shibleydaycamp.com.

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For more volunteer information and opportunities, contact the Long Island Volunteer Center at 516-564-5482; longislandvolunteercenter.org.

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