Camp for people with disabilities gets support from community

RIPTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Silver Towers is one of the oldest residential camps for people with disabilities in the country. Although the organization can’t open summer camp for the second summer in a row due to COVID-19, they’re still keeping everyone engaged with their annual motorcycle and classic car ride.

“This is their vacation. This is their home. The camp belongs to the campers. It’s run by the Vermont Elks, but it belongs to the campers that come here,” Silver Towers Director Carolyn Ravenna said.

The annual motorcycle and classic car ride marked the return of many campers like Marjorie Burns.

“It was hard because I was missing my friends, but we still did camp on Zoom,” she said.

The parade riders include Vermont Elks, Silver Tower directors, and some campers. This event raises money for Silver Towers every year.

Scott Phillips, president of the Vermont Elks Association, says the goal is “just to get people involved in Silver Towers. The more Elks that come down here and see what we do for this camp and what it provides for the campers is huge.”

This year, word of the event spread all the way to Elks out of the Middleborough, Mass. lodge.

“It’s the kids. You know, coming here just to see their smiles, it really touches you,” Michael Terrell, road captain of the Middleborough, Mass. Lodge 1274 Elks, said.

Normally, camp would be in session during the fundraiser, with 70 campers cheering the parade on. But this year, members of the Silver Towers community say they are just grateful they can all spend time in person together.

“I love it. I get to see the motorcycles. I get to see everybody, instead of on Zoom,” camper Susan Mandell said.

“Holding this event at the camp is really important because we keep remembering. We don’t want to forget about Silver Towers,” Ravenna said.

Copyright 2021 WCAX. All rights reserved.

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