Crystal Palace premiere to benefit Aspen’s deaf camp |

Crystal Palace premiere to benefit Aspen’s deaf camp

Supporters of the Aspen Camp School for the Deaf should enjoy the premiere performance of the new season show at The Crystal Palace on Thursday.

The annual fund-raiser is a key one for the camp; it is an occasion to raise funds that will be earmarked for scholarships for deaf and hard-of-hearing children who attend the Old Snowmass camp each year.

“This is the seventh year that the camp has presented this event,” said Jill Fink, event co-chairwoman, in a press release. “We’re delighted by the wonderful response that we are again receiving.”

More than 40 couples, individuals and businesses have already made sponsorship donations, according to Fink.

“Traditionally during this evening, ACSD also appeals to supporters for contributions to the scholarship fund so that we can continue to help our campers,” she said.

Last summer, the camp hosted more than 100 children, ages 8 through high school. Campers and staffers came from 27 states, though one out of every three children hailed from Colorado.

“Four out of every five of these children need financial aid to enable them to come to camp,” said Jean D’Alessio, event co-chairwoman. “Every year those attending the Crystal Palace event donate thousands of dollars to our scholarship fund. Essential financial support is contributed by all the sponsors, including scholarship donors and those who purchase seats, helping us provide quality learning opportunities.”

Four camp sessions are offered in June, July and August for children of different ages.

“Like any camp, ACSD affords children opportunities for exploration, adventure and learning,” said B.J. Blocker, camp executive director. “This camp also provides priceless opportunities for connection with other deaf and hard-of-hearing children and with caring adult role models.”

Many of the campers, she said, are “mainstreamed” throughout the school year, attending public schools where they may be the only deaf student.

“Within hearing communities, deaf and hard-of-hearing children often feel left out and not fully included,” Blocker explained. “For some campers, ACSD may be the first time they have experienced the feeling of being included and have a sense of belonging. Here at camp, they participate in a positive community that has been created expressly for them.”

For last summer’s camp, 21 of the 25 staff members were deaf or hard of hearing, serving as role models for the children. They are “invaluable” examples of successful deaf adults, Blocker said.

To become a Crystal Place sponsor or make a donation to the camp, call 923-2511 or TDD (970) 923-6609.

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