Posted November 1, 2013 by Marissa Goodman
More than 1,000 local residents filled Rolling River Day Camp in East Rockaway on a crisp fall afternoon for the annual family-friendly Fall Festival event. Long Island publication Local Luxuries once again co-sponsored the occasion which provided a wide array of fall and Halloween-themed activities for local families. The popular event, held on Rolling River’s campgrounds, included rides, slides, pumpkin decorating, pony rides, farm animals, live performances, face painting, a BBQ cookout, a crafts and vendor fair and of course, a Halloween costume contest.
Rolling River Director Mark Goodman was overwhelmed with the positive feedback and high praises from this year’s festival attendees. “Every year we try to add new dimensions and activities to our festivals and the overwhelming support from local establishments helped us produce our largest event yet,” stated Goodman. “Our festivals are an extension of the positive outcomes learned at camp as they create memorable family experiences in a safe and fun atmosphere,” he added.
Lisa Gallo, festival volunteer, local teacher and Rolling River counselor, agreed that this year’s event went above and beyond to give back to a community so impacted last year by Superstorm Sandy. “Seeing the children smiling and enjoying themselves made you forget the devastation they experienced not long ago.”
Over 35 local businesses from across the Tri-State area sponsored a variety of activities at the festival. In addition to selling hand-crafted items, toys and food and refreshments, many businesses donated a portion of their sales to Rolling River’s scholarship fund called “The Campmates Program”. The scholarship initiative provides tuition-free camp experiences at Rolling River for local children associated with Peninsula Counseling Center.
As the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approached, Rolling River also partnered with the hard-hit East Rockaway school district and other local organizations including both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts to help fundraise for upcoming school events and activities. The organizations raised hundreds of dollars that will help fund trips like Rhame Avenue’s annual 6th Grade trip to Greenkill and other PTA-related events.