A letter - The Painted Turtle



A letter - The Painted Turtle
As a key sponsor of Newman-Haas Racing, PacifiCare
certainly has a long-standing relationship with Paul
Newman on the track. Its recent commitment to The
Painted Turtle extends that friendship allowing them to
share off-track philanthropic endeavors as well.
"PacifiCare's racing-related charitable activities reinforce its
commitment of caring by doing," said Newman. "The
generous support PacifiCare is providing The Painted
Turtle Camp will help us offer children with serious
illnesses and life-threatening conditions a place to go
where they can just be themselves. I appreciate
PacifiCare's support, and I know that the kids do also."
Harman Professional Group joined these contributors to
our sports and recreation program and facility by
providing an incredible collection of audio equipment. After
the day's sports and activities have come to an end, the
Recreation Center will become the Camp's theatre and
performing arts space. Thanks to the generous and
collaborative efforts of Mark Terry and Paul Chavez of
JBL/Harman Professional Group, David Epstein with Sound
Solutions, and Tim Tunks who has been working on the
project's lighting components, the gymnasium will transform
into a stage fit for the talent, skits, and performances of
campers and counselors alike, bring the music, sounds,
voices, and camp songs to life at The Painted Turtle.
As part of our commitment to make the
Camp accessible to as many children as
possible, The Painted Turtle, like all Hole in
the Wall Camps, is offered at no charge to
the camper or family.
Page and Lou Adler
Lani and Herb Alpert
Shelly and Larry Brown
Gil Friesen
Jami Gertz and Tony Ressler
Joan and John Hotchkis
Martha and Bruce Karsh
Nancy and Howard Marks
Sue and Richard Masson
Ann and Jerry Moss
Paul Newman
Janet Crown Peterson and Gunnar Peterson
Carolyn and Bill Powers
Open For Business
The Painted Turtle seeks to reach beyond illness... to inspire children with life-threatening diseases to
become their greater selves. It is our mission to provide a year-round, life-changing environment for these
children and their families - one that allows children to participate in an authentic camp experience by
supporting their medical needs and offers their families care, education and respite.
For more information please call 310-456-6350 or email: [email protected]
This month you will find an appeal letter in
your mailbox asking you to sponsor a
camper. Camperships provide the backbone
of support for the cost of each child's week
at camp. We invite you to help sponsor a
camper for an amazing week of adventure,
exploration, laughter, and friendship.
And please pass this newsletter onto a
friend and help spread the word about The
Painted Turtle.
Suzanne Torgeson
Shamu Pool
A Publication of The Painted Turtle; A Member of the Association of the Hole in the Wall Camps © 2004
The Founders
Melvin Marks, M.D.
Edward R.B. McCabe, M.D., Ph.D.
Maria Minon, M.D.
Larry Opas, M.D.
Anthony Philipps, M.D.
Chuck Simmons, M.D.
Larry Shapiro, M.D.
David Sine, M.D.
Steve Stephensen, M.D.
Emily von Scheven, M.D.
Feizal Waffarn, M.D.
Painted Turtle Partners For Summer 2004
Hemophilia Foundation of Southern California
National Kidney Foundation of Southern California
Children’s Skin Disease Foundation
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation
Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California
Fifteen years of dreams. Seven years of work.
The Board of Directors
Page Adler
Lou Adler
Mary Brown
Larry Brown
Shelly Brown
Melanie Cook
Dr. Lorry Frankel
Gil Friesen
Riva Gebel
Jami Gertz
Laurentius Harrer
John Hotchkis
Matthew Jones
Bruce Karsh
Martha Karsh
Nancy Marks
John Miller
Janet Crown Peterson
Carolyn Powers
Bill Powers
Tony Ressler
Gene Rosenfeld
Dr. Cynthia Telles
The Staff
The Well Shell and the opportunity to serve our campers in
a unique care setting have been generously sponsored by
the recent gift of PacifiCare Health Systems. The Painted
Turtle is grateful for their commitment to underwrite the
cost of the Well Shell with a $1.5 million contribution.
These funds allowed us to
build a 6,000 square foot,
state-of-the-art facility fully
equipped for routine and
emergency procedures. It
has a comfortable waiting
room, large pharmacy,
numerous treatment rooms,
two home rooms for overnight stays, and six hemodialysis
stations with beautiful views of the landscape outside.
Our campers will enjoy the thrill of playing on a college size
court and will dream of hitting half-court shots from the
official Lakers logo at the center of the floor. The Los
Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation generously committed to
fund the recreation center's flooring—creating a place
these kids will always remember. The Painted Turtle
recently received a rather large and exciting shipment from
Nike; the company generously donated shoes, apparel and
equipment. This contribution will allow us to ensure that
every child at our Camp will be outfitted to enjoy all the fun
and activity we have planned. As we know to anticipate a
collection of campers that represent the full diversity of
California, some will be among the more than 70% of the
17,000 children with severe forms of chronic illnesses living
at or below poverty level. Nike has allowed us to offer
these special kids sneakers, t-shirts and shorts for their
time at the Camp and when they return home.
Preparations for our six week-long sessions
have been underway all spring, and the staff
and counselors are eager to welcome their
first summer campers. Our campers will
have the opportunity to zoom across the zip
line on the high ropes course, ride
horses, shoot baskets and play volleyball in
the gym, swim in the Shamu-shaped pool,
fish and paddle boat in the lake, and
generally have the time of their lives.
Medical Advisory Board
Robert Adler, M.D.
William Byrne, M.D.
Harvey Cohen, M.D.
Wendy Cook, M.D.
Lorry Frankel, M.D.
Frederick W. James, M.D.
Adam Jonas, M.D.
Neal Kaufman, M.D.
John Mace, M.D.
Mohammad Malekzadeh, M.D.
The Painted Turtle has intentionally set out to remove any
hint of a medical presence in the Camp's state-of-the-art
medical facility, the Well Shell. When campers visit the
clinic they will find brilliantly colored murals, large windows
overlooking the lake, and a triage room where doctors will
sit on tree stumps and campers will be surrounded by
foliage and forest animals painted all around them.
Although much thought went in to making the interior and
exterior elements of the clinic comfortable, inviting, and
friendly, the same efforts have been invested to ensure that
it is a safe and therapeutic camp experience under the
supervision of California's top medical professionals who
join our full-time medical staff as volunteers each session.
We take this issue of the Turtle Scoop as an
opportunity to recognize with gratitude the
many donors, small and large, who have
inspired us with their generosity. We extend
our heartfelt thanks to all of our vital
supporters—those who chose to remain
anonymous along with the listing enclosed.
Founding Hospitals
Children's Hospital and Health Center, San Diego
Children's Hospital and Research Center at Oakland
Children's Hospital Central California
Children's Hospital of Orange County
Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
King/Drew Medical Center
Loma Linda University Children's Hospital
Los Angeles County Hospital + USC Medical Center
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA
Miller Children's Hospital
UC Davis Children's Hospital
UCSD Medical Center
UCSF Children's Hospital
University Children’s Hospital, UCI Medical Center
The Painted Turtle
3969 Villa Costera
Malibu, CA 90265
Paul Newman also had a chance to celebrate Toyota's
donation when he stood on the back of one of the trucks to
release fish into the Camp's lake during the dedication
ceremony on May 22.
Beginning with our first session this summer, the camps
recreation center will serve many functions. It will be the
central meeting place for summer staff orientations, a
basketball court where campers will make the first of many
incredible shots, and a stage where each summer session
will culminate with a performing arts celebration. The
recreation center is complete with a gym, smaller game
room for recreation and theatre activities, boys and girls
locker rooms, office and storage spaces, and entries to the
swimming pool. Its wooden floors, closets, and rafters are
filled with the gifts of three remarkable contributors: The
Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation, Nike, and
Harman/JBL Professional Group.
It is with enormous pride that we
acknowledge the hundreds of remarkable
people who helped build The Painted Turtle
camp. Through the generosity of a network
of donors, volunteers and craftsman, the
Camp is a stunning achievement and a
testimonial to the power of collaboration and
spirit of philanthropy.
A Publication of The Painted Turtle; A Member of the Association of the Hole in the Wall Camps © 2004
An innovative camp and family care center for
children with life-threatening illnesses.
As the Camp's staff put the final touches on the programs,
two special vehicles have already been put to good use.
Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. presented The Painted
Turtle with two Tundra double cab trucks this spring. The
trucks will be used largely by the maintenance and
program staff that is busy maintaining the camp site and
bringing supplies from here to there in anticipation of
activities. Toyota offers vehicles to many organizations
within the community; The Painted Turtle was exceptionally
lucky to receive two vehicles for our program. Toyota also
made sure that the Tundra trucks fit right in at our Camp,
as they arrived colorfully painted with a bright landscape
certain to capture everyone's attention.
A letter from the
Director of
Suzanne Torgeson
Please visit us at our new website online at www.thepaintedturtle.org
A Place for All Occasions:
The Recreation Center
Deirdre Roney - Executive Director
Wendy Cook - Medical Director
Beth Vandenbogaart - Nursing Director
Blake Maher - Camp Director
Jessica Santos - Program Director
Tina Beck - Volunteer Director
Margaret Davis - Camper Recruitment Director
Suzanne Torgeson - Director of Development
Alison LeMasters - Corporate Relations Director
Deb Glazer - Foundation Director
James F. Cook - Director of Operations
Tom Harrison - Facilities Manager
Donna Prizgintas - Chef
Ali Rosen - Camp Office Manager
Erica Sung - Office Manager/Executive Assistant
Claire White - Well Shell Manager
Liz Lee - Accountant
The Painted Turtle's official opening and camp dedication was held on May 22 on a beautiful spring day in Lake
Hughes, California. Paul Newman opened the festivities and the gates of the Camp when he cut the ribbon along with
The Painted Turtle's founders and board members who were present.
Camp staff, volunteers, celebrities, and guests had a chance to then experience camp with hayrides, paddle boating,
fishing, arts and crafts, puppets shows, and a campfire circle as well as sampling the organic cooking of the Camp’s
Chef, Donna Prizgintas, and enjoying a BBQ lunch under blue skies and spectacular sunshine. They were offered this
glimpse of the ordinary childhood experiences the program seeks to offer our special campers and were also entertained till sundown with live performances by the popular band Sugar Ray, Grammy Award winning violinist Joshua Bell,
world famous dancer Savion Glover, young vocalist Renee Olstead, and child prodigy Jamia Simone Nash. The afternoon also included a live auction hosted by Paul Reiser who auctioned items such as a private shooting session with
Derek Fisher, a tennis lesson with Pete Sampras, and a chance to be a Lakers ball boy. Perhaps the greatest act of all
though was by the donors and guests who attended this special event and helped us to raise over $750,000 for The
Painted Turtle.
What will we remember from this day? Celebration as well as anticipation of the memories and life-changing moments
that can now begin for our future campers at The Painted Turtle.
A letter from the
Deirdre Roney
"I hear babies cry, I watch them
grow, they'll learn much more than I'll
ever know, and I think to myself, what a
wonderful world…"
That song is one of the most frequently played,
for sad occasion or glad, for auspicious or humble.
It captures humanity, in all its poignancy and
magic, grief, and glory. The experience of The
Painted Turtle is much the same. I saw hundreds of people, our founders, board members,
staff, volunteers, donors, and supporters rendered
speechless and with tears in their eyes during
our grand opening celebration in May.
It was a splendid, fun-filled party. Yet,
nothing outshone the simple truth of why The
Painted Turtle was built: it was built for kids
battling serious illnesses. These kids will come
to our camp and get the love, guidance, and
skills they need to become the best they can be,
the happiest, healthiest, and strongest they can be.
Because of your caring vision and commitment,
these kids know they are not alone. You give
them hope and joy in a place of their own, where
they truly heal and grow. On June 22nd, our first
campers arrive. They'll fish and paddleboat,
paint and plant, sing and swim, swing and ride.
And they'll think to themselves, what a
wonderful world…
Deirdre Roney
Deb Glazer:
Foundation Director
It only took one week and I was
hooked. I was seven years old and had
just returned home from my first
overnight camp experience. I loved
camp so much that much to my mother's protests and
despite the fact that I had a nice comforter, I insisted on
using my camp sleeping bag on my bed throughout the
entire year.
Twenty-nine years later, that girl with the long braids and
light blue sleeping bag, is thrilled to be back at camp! I am
truly honored to be a member of The Painted Turtle's team.
In addition to 10 summers at different camps in a variety of
positions, prior to The Painted Turtle I was the Program
Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters and founded Peace
Games in Los Angeles (a non-profit that teaches peace
and justice education and violence prevention to children).
I hold a B.A. in sociology from The University of
Pennsylvania and a Master of Education from Harvard
Since coming on board I've focused my energy on building
relationships and obtaining support from corporate and
private foundations. I deeply appreciate the support
Boeing, The Ahmanson Foundation, and so many others
have offered thus far this year.
I know that camp changed my life and feel lucky to be part
of an organization that will undoubtedly have a similar
impact on thousands of California children.
Margaret Davis:
Camper Recruitment
I was first introduced to The
Painted Turtle in 2001, while serving
as Program Director for the National Kidney Foundation of
Southern California, coordinating summer camp sessions
for pediatric kidney patients and year-round, family camp
programs. The Painted Turtle was still in its visionary
phase, but I knew even then that I wanted to be involved.
My wish came true in January, when I joined The Painted
Turtle team as Camper Recruitment Director. Since then I
have been immersed in the pediatric community, providing
outreach, and recruiting campers for our 2004 summer
season. In conjunction with our wonderful partner agencies,
we have distributed over 1200 camp applications, and
three of our sessions are at or near capacity, a remarkable
feat for our very first summer.
I am privileged to work with an extraordinary group of
people. With the help of our donors, volunteers, partners,
and supporters, we are about to realize the vision as camp
opens. It will be exciting to see our campers experience
The Painted Turtle in an atmosphere of loving support,
expert medical care, and just plain fun!
Sickle Cell Weekend
When We Wish Upon...
Jessica Santos:
Program Director
Back to camp at last! After a three- year
hiatus in Miami working as the Special
Events, PR, and Marketing Coordinator
for a substance abuse program for
teens I found myself heading west with my husband so he
could pursue his dream in the film industry. Little did I
know that one of my career dreams would soon be fulfilled
as well.
My passion for working with children with special needs
developed at the University of Florida where I received my
degree in theatre, dance, and mass communications.
Using my skills as an artist, I started a dance company in
Gainesville, Florida, to teach dance to children who were
deaf as well as children with Autism and Downs Syndrome.
As a volunteer with the "Arts in Medicine" program at
Shands Hospital in Gainesville, I was able to work with a
variety of children from the oncology clinic, neonatal unit,
and bone marrow transplant unit.
In an effort to serve more children with life-threatening
diseases, I found my way to Camp Boggy Creek, The
Painted Turtle's sister camp, located in Eustis, Florida. I
spent my first summer in 1998 as the Woodshop Specialist,
which then led to a two year position as the Family Retreat
Coordinator and Entertainment Director. I am extremely
excited to be working back in the camp world where
everyday begins with a cheer, a song, and a dance. The
days will be filled with more smiles and laughter than most
experience in a year. This is where my heart feels at home
—working with this population of kids has truly been an
inspiration in my life.
As the summer rapidly approaches, The Painted Turtle's
full-time staff has nearly doubled with anxious anticipation of
our inaugural summer. In addition to the staff
introductions here, please join us in welcoming Ali Rosen,
Camp Office Manager, Erica Sung, Office
Manager/Executive Assistant, Claire White, Well Shell
Manager, and Donna
Prizgintas, Camp Chef.
Donna joins us this summer to share her culinary
experience and passion
with our campers and
staff. Donna will bring to
life one of the Camp's
most defining and unique
aspects, a daily meal program committed to providing
healthy, organic, and great tasting food and snack options.
Donna joins The Painted Turtle after spending more than 25
years cooking, learning about, and developing a deep
appreciation for organic foods and agriculture. As the
Camp's theme is an organic farm, The Painted Turtle plans
to invite campers to play in and tend to our organic orchard
and pizza patch (an herb garden full of seasonings for
homemade pizzas), learning to prepare tasty and healthy
snacks in our baking center, and eating three nourishing,
predominantly organic meals a day. These meals include
the wonderful ingredients of many generous providers in the
natural food industry. Please visit our website for a listing of
these remarkably generous donors and partners in our
healthy living program.
It was a breathtaking evening in April when our first
campers arrived. With the help of Mary Brown, Executive
Director of the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California
and a member of our Board of Directors, the weekend for
children with sickle cell disease and their families allowed
The Painted Turtle a chance to not only open our hearts to
these special campers but to also further evaluate and
strengthen our program plans and camp facility before our
inaugural summer sessions.
The families enjoyed a full slate of seminars and classes
conducted by the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of
California, arts and crafts and recreation activities, and
fishing and boating. The weekend provided campers with
a unique and thrilling opportunity: former NBA star and Los
Angeles Laker, Norm Nixon, joined them in the gym to
shoot hoops while celebrated choreographer and actor,
Debbie Allen, arrived for a private dance lesson!
Although the first campfire at The Painted Turtle was
phenomenal and the first fish catch was incredible, the true
joy comes from the relationships and friendships developed
at Camp. Perhaps one of our campers captured the spirit
best in a letter to his counselor, "I felt that when we were
all together our bond was stronger than the bond of some
glue on paper. I love you as I love my family and I never
want to lose that in my life." The Painted Turtle looks
forward to creating that special bond for years to come.
Volunteer Update
Work is love made visible. --Kahlil Gibran
The Painted Turtle has truly been a labor of love for
thousands of dedicated souls. We recently celebrated the
inauguration of our camp program and would like to take
this opportunity to salute all our volunteers. We are
inspired by the love, compassion, and generosity that pour
into our camp day after day, year after year. As we make
this transition from construction to operation, it is hard to
imagine how this would have been possible without the
support of our volunteers.
We have just completed the recruitment, screening, and
interview processes for our 2004 summer camp volunteer
program, and now it's time to get to work. Volunteers from
all over the world will join us for six one-week long
sessions of camp fun. With one full day of training, our
volunteers will be ready to help campers discover hidden
treasures, explore new frontiers and realize the heroes
This summer promises to be extraordinary.
We have a lot of work to do…a lot of love to show.
Tina Beck
Hats off to Tina Beck and the
volunteers who helped make the dedication day a success.
Arts supplies: glue, markers, scissors,
Tempera paint, paintbrushes, glitter
Paper: rolls, art, computer, writing
Fun noodles and other pool toys
Bathing suits (new)
Drums & percussion instruments
Theatrical costumes & props
Board games
High chairs
Toddler toys
Toiletries: lip balm, conditioner, lotion
Insect repellent
Portable CD players & headphones
Portable stereos
Batteries (all sizes)
Pre-paid calling cards
Bottled water
Cell phones with service (AT&T)
Office supplies
Passenger Van
Golf carts
Antibacterial soap
Baby monitors
Electric heating pads
Hot packs & warm packs (new)
Wax (paraffin) bath
Walking canes
These items are invaluable in creating
a safe, memorable and one-of-a-kind
camp experience. Your help with our
Wish List is greatly appreciated. If you
can donate or help us find donations of
any of these items, please contact
Alison LeMasters at 310.456.6350 or
[email protected]
A letter from the
Program Director...
Jessica Santos
Experienced the Experience
Waiting is the hardest part!
Some of us have had an experience with a
turtle. In most cases, if you approach one too
abruptly it retracts its head right back into its
shell and usually won't come back out until after
you have left.
This is the way I sometimes think of our
campers: creatures, unsure of the world around
them. But The Painted Turtle and its unique
program is designed to change all that, to allow
a child to feel secure in trying new things and
facing new challenges.
As we approach the first summer at the Painted
Turtle our theme of "Come out of your Shell"
seems appropriate as campers are invited to
discover something outside their everyday lives.
In preparation for the summer I recently had an
"out of shell" experience. While watching one of
our new summer staff members, Elyne, train on
the ropes courses, I couldn't believe what I was
seeing. They had just lifted Elyne out of a
wheelchair up to the top of the high ropes
course and placed him 30 feet in the air on a
wooden platform. Once he had reached the
platform he was seated in a wheelchair. Once in
the wheelchair, he rolled across two separated
wooden planks, wheeled across a wooded
bridge, and proceeded to clip into a wire cable
and fly out of his chair and down the zip line. He
was then lowered back down into a wheelchair
on the ground!
It was another testament to the thoughtful and
inclusive environment that has been set up to
allow these campers to lower their defenses and
feel safe and comfortable enough to come out
of their shells for one incredible week that will
change the way they participate in the world.
In June, the wait will be over. All summer long,
hundreds of campers' "out of shell" experiences
will bring the spirit and life to The Painted Turtle.
Jessica Santos
Going My Way?
Liver Transplant
Skin Disease
Sickle Cell Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
June 22 - 28
July 1- 7
July 10 - 17
July 21 - 27
August 4 - 10
August 14 - 20