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Camp Anchor in Lido Beach to expand services, amenities with $124G grant

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen said she would allocate funding in 2019 budget for more buses, tents, staff and equipment at "the happiest place" in the town.

Friday marked the 50th anniversary of Camp Anchor, a camp catering to disabled youth and adults.  Hemsptead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen, accompanied by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, announced a $124,000 dollar grant that will be put toward expanding the facilities and services of Camp Anchor.   (Credit: Newsday / Yeong-Ung Yang)

Hempstead Town and Nassau County officials on Friday announced plans to expand services at Camp Anchor in Lido Beach with a $124,000 grant.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen joined Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and other town board members, legislators and state representatives to usher in the 50th anniversary of Camp Anchor, which serves 1,200 children and adults with disabilities and operates year-round.

The grant was awarded to the nonprofit Camp Anchor Program Fund by the private Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation to expand services to 40 new campers, continue educational programs and provide two weeks of equine therapy this summer.

The town will use $75,000 in grant money to construct Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant bathrooms. The Camp Anchor parent committee is raising an additional $75,000 to match it.

Gillen said she would also allocate money in the 2019 budget for more buses, tents, staff and equipment that will allow the camp to add 40 more campers next year.

“This is the happiest place in the Town of Hempstead,” Gillen said. “We’ve made it a priority to see the program thrive so more families can see the benefits we provide.”

Gillen also proclaimed Friday “Camp Anchor Day” to recognize the camp’s 50th anniversary and said the camp has a waiting list of about 700 prospective enrollees with special needs, as well as a long list of volunteers offering to work at the seaside camp. She made the announcement during a carnival sponsored by the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association.

Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) said he was also requesting additional funding from the governor’s office.

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