Our society has come so far in terms of integration, but we still have a long road to travel. With the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation, it is our family's hope that we can offer more and more children with special needs throughout New York City and the Northeast United States the reality of summer camp.
The need to help arose from our recognition that there is a lack of summer programs for children with special needs. When school ends each year, there are few options for the families of these children since the necessary facilities and equipment are very expensive. The Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation bridges the gap by partnering with accredited camps willing to launch integrated programs that include wheelchair accessible transportation, one-on-one swimming instruction, and adaptive physical education equipment and training - all in a caring environment where the children participate in all regular camp activities. By integrating the children with the larger camp populations, we create environments that foster new respect, friendships, and the realization that all children share similar love for human interaction and fun.
The Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation brings summer camp alive for children who have previously had very few options! No longer do these children just imagine a summer splashing in a pool, learning to swim, playing games, creating art projects, and going on field trips to places like the Bronx Zoo, Mets or Yankees games, or the Queens Farm. With the help of friends of the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation, we will strive every year to increase the number of children that experience the reality of summer camp.
For our family, it is an honor and a privilege to help children with special needs in memory of our dearly loved Lisa Beth. And where else to make this beautiful dream a reality for the children but in the most integrated city in the world - New York!
The Gerstman Family