Thursday, November 10, 2016
Mosaic in Connecticut

If you reach back into Connecticut’s more recent history, one of our state’s best examples of donor generosity is sprawled across 102 acres in Waterford. It is one of few state parks in the entire country designed especially for use by people with disabilities. The grounds, with beautiful beachfront and tidal marsh, open and wooded spaces, and miles of wheel-chair accessible trails, was once part of the Harkness Estate, where Mary Harkness entertained children stricken with polio. When she died in 1952, Mary deeded the Camp Harkness portion to the State for the enjoyment of people with disabilities and their families and friends.

Mosaic recently held its 10th Annual Camp Harkness Cookout on a perfect summer day, under a row of shady pavilions overlooking the boardwalk and beach. Nearly all of our residents attended, from 26 communities across the state, along with staff members, volunteers and families. From the easy reservation process to the help offered at every turn – whether an attendant cheerfully securing extra tables or another offering the use of a hand cart – the day seemed charmed.

Two-hundred hamburgers and even more hotdogs were grilled, many smiling photos were taken, and DJ “Uncle Al” kept the music and fun going. He invited a musically-inclined Mosaic individual to try out the harmonica, and then another joined in. Brought back by popular demand, Uncle Al enjoyed the day as much as anyone, even coming out in front of his equipment to join the group that was dancing.

Others just wanted to get out of their chairs and lay in the grass, soaking up the sun, or visit with friends from different houses. And then there was the moment when one person in service was rewarded for his efforts, when his kite finally lifted into the air. Mosaic employee Sandy Gregory said that he has gotten the kite up beachside almost every year. “And,” she adds, “Never once, in ten years, have we been rained out on Camp Harkness Day.” Charmed indeed!

To learn more about how your workplace or civic group can support the Camp Harkness cookout, please contact Karen Hoke at karen.hoke@mosaicinfo.org or 860.632.2814 x123.

 

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