October 6, 2017

Aerospace workers spruce up Painted Turtle Camp

Linda KC Reynolds
staff writer

Aerospace workers volunteer to help spruce up the Painted Turtle Camp where children who are faced with life-threatening and chronic illnesses have the opportunity to have a fun-filled camping experience. The year-round programming for campers is provided free of charge.

Armed with hoes, rakes, elbow grease and a whole lot of heart, aerospace companies once again volunteered at The Painted Turtle Camp to prepare for the next group of autumn campers.

Located in Lake Hughes, Calif., the Painted Turtle’s mission is to reach beyond illness, to inspire children with life-threatening diseases to become their greater selves. A chance for kids to “raise a little hell,” as founder, the late Paul Newman, often said.

Virgin Galactic employee Marry De Wit said she was invited by a friend whose daughter came to the camp during Epilepsy week.

“She said they never celebrated her daughter’s disease and camp made her feel special and she had a wonderful time. You can tell this is a very special place.”

Greg Oliva, corporate relations coordinator for the camp, said 73 illnesses are covered by the camp.

“We don’t do cancer because Ronald McDonald and others do such a great job. We help kids with other diseases.” More than 50,000 children have enjoyed camp since it began 14 years ago.

Several hundred badges were made by aerospace workers for kids who will be attending the Painted Turtle Camp. Volunteering a few hours saves the camp staff hundreds of labor hours and is a very rewarding experience for all who volunteer.

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