"Focusing on Abilities"
Written by: Karen Stallings
The Actor, Paul Newman, opened and founded The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Connecticut in 1988, for children with cancer and serious blood disorders. He named The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for the ragtag bandits from his movie, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. Since 1988, Newman has founded camps in New York, Florida, Ireland, France and California. He wants to give children the chance to “kick back,” relax and have lots of fun!” Newman insists that the camps’ focus would be about fun and it could be free of charge for the campers and their families.
The NASCAR Driver, Kyle Petty and his wife, Pattie, partnered with Paul Newman in October of 2000, to launch their most ambitious project to date – The Victory Junction Gang Camp. This project was founded to honor their son, Adam, (the first fourth generation professional athlete in the United States) who was killed in May of 2000 during practice for a NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Race in Loudon, New Hampshire. A study was done and found that there were over 230,000 chronically ill children within radius of the proposed Victory Junction site. The study also found that there were very few opportunities for children with needs to attend a camp and there wasn’t any facility similar to a Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in the region.
Victory Junction Gang serves children from ages 7-15, with the following diseases and conditions: arthritis, asthma, heart diseases, spina bifina, kidney & liver diseases, sickle cell, etc. Victory Junction primarily serves children from North and South Carolina, Virginia. Due to the close relationship with NASCAR, Victory Junction will accept a limited number of campers on a national basis. Final selection for camp admission is determined by the Victory Junction Medical Advisory Board.
Victory Junction is an independent not for profit organization with a dedicated staff. Each camp in the Hole in the Wall Association has boards of directors and founders. NASCAR named Victory Junction as a proud sponsor and pledged their support through a comprehensive media campaign. In addition, many of the teams, owners and track owners support the camp with individual contributions.
Victory Junction has its camp year round! During the summer, there are eight one week disease specific camp sessions. The reminder of the year there are family retreats, specialized programs for smaller diseases groups, sibling weekends and camper reunions. There is no fee to attend the camp for the children and their families. The camp has volunteers and medical volunteers that work there. Everyone is welcome there to work as a volunteer including people with disabilities.
If you are interested in attending the camp, being a volunteer and making donations, contact the Victory Junction Gang Camp at 4500 Adam’s Way, Randleman, North Carolina 27317. The telephone number is (336) 498-9055. The fax number is (336) 498-9090. The website is www.victoryjunction.org
So, climb on board the Victory Junction Gang Platform and feel your heart race!