Urban League of Springfield praises Aaron’s Inc., other groups for Camp Atwater donations benefiting local youth

Genesis White

7-24-13 – North Brookfield – Republican staff photo by Don Treeger- Photos from Camp Atwater, a summer camp run by the Urban League of Springfield. Here, camper Genesis White of Fort Washington, Maryland, works on an art project. Source: MassLive.com

Henry M. Thomas III, president and CEO of the Urban League of Springfield, praised a $10,000 donation from Aaron’s Inc., and matching funds from local donors, saying their generosity provided 10 Springfield youth with two-week stays at Camp Atwater this summer.

Donations from the local companies and organizations helped those 10 campers along with an additional 40 campers from Springfield, Thomas said.

The Urban League is “excited and appreciative” of the gift from Aaron’s, an Atlanta-based retail company, Thomas said.

“Thanks to the generosity of several local companies and individuals, the Urban League was able to leverage Aaron’s gift with local donations to provide a two-week overnight experience for all the campers,” Thomas said.

Camp Atwater, located in North Brookfield, has been a summer camp for black youth for 95 years. It is owned and operated by the Urban League.

The experience offered at Camp Atwater “helps the Urban League do its part in developing youth to be ready to take the mantel for the next generation of leadership,” Thomas said. The camp helps build personal development skills that prepare youth for life opportunities and success, he said.

Camp Atwater is accredited by the American Camp Association and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Aaron’s donation of $10,000 benefited 10 youth in Springfield

Those providing matching funds for those 10 campers and 40 others from Springfield were: Geico, Comcast, Davis Foundation, Westfield Bank, TD Bank, Mercy Medical Center, People’s Bank, Chicopee Savings, Peoples United, Corvias, Colvest, 1st Niagara, Big Y, MGM Springfield, Buckley Richardson, Palmer Paving and one individual, Charlie Spencer.

Aaron’s gave donations to several overnight camps in several states. The company praised Camp Atwater’s mission “to assist in the academic and social growth and development of youth by offering a quality residential camp experience within a safe, nurturing and Afrocentric environment,” Aaron’s stated in a press release.

Source: MassLive.com