FREDONIA – A JCC summer day camp that served more than 1,500 campers in 2016 is to see a $1.5 million aquatic upgrade, including the addition of new pool, a splash pad and facilities for those with special needs.
The Daniel M. Soref Charitable Trust is granting $1.5 million to the Whitefish Bay-based Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, so that it can rebuild much of the aquatics at the Albert & Ann Deshur JCC Rainbow Day Camp in Fredonia.
The project will include the rebuilding of the camp’s locker room facilities, the installation of an additional teaching pool and the construction of a splash pad. An existing pool will remain in place but much that’s near it will be torn up or town down for the improvements.
The splash pad, said Chad Tessmer, chief membership and marketing officer for the JCC, is “a very low barrier opportunity to get kids into a water environment.” The splash pad provides the entire camp community with regular access to safe water activities, while also serving as an introduction point for novice swimmers, according to a release.
It’s also considered a benefit that a lifeguard will not have to be present to operate the splash pad.
Two pools will be on separate filtration systems, so that if there’s a problem with one pool, the other can operate.
The Fredonia camp facility was established in 1969 and it saw 1,585 individual campers in the 2016 camp season. It bills itself as an inclusive summer camp, guided by Jewish values.
“The generosity of the Daniel M. Soref Charitable Trust will bring our aquatics facility up to the standards of our exceptional program and staff,” said Mark Shapiro, JCC president and chief executive officer. “This investment empowers us to do what we do best: offer inclusive services to the entire community.”
“As Rainbow continues to grow its service and diversity, the need for these facilities has never been greater,” the Daniel M. Soref Charitable Trust added in a statement. “Water safety is increasingly important, particularly for low-income families. Making this investment ensures that all children have a safe and welcoming environment to learn and grow.”
Demolition of the existing structures begins in the fall of 2016 and the improved facility is expected to fully open in time for the 2017 summer camp season. The new locker room facilities will include inclusionary changing rooms for users with special or defined needs. The second pool will be installed with shallow-entry and ramp access, to promote ease of use and comfort.
“Of all the things we do at Rainbow – teaching every child how to safely enjoy water is at the top of the list,” said Rainbow Day Camp Director Lenny Kass in a statement. “We have campers join us from all over the city, of all backgrounds and abilities. The Daniel M. Soref Aquatic Center will help us put a smile on every child’s face, every day of the summer.”
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About the camp
The Albert & Ann Deshur JCC Rainbow Day Camp bills itself as an inclusive summer camp, guided by Jewish values, for children and teens. The camp serves children and teens, bringing them to the 100-acre grounds in Fredonia from nine bus stops to the south. More information: Rdc.JccMilwaukee.org