An uplifting benefit for Down's syndrome kids corraled a bunch of Kaiserman JCC children to compete in a triathlon-a-thon.
Mitzvah Heroes: This summer, kids at Camp KEF at the Kaiserman JCC took part in a triathlon-a-thon on behalf of Rock for CHOP. The charity supports the Trisomy 21 Program for Down syndrome research and treatment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
What It’s All About: Youngsters ages 3 to 14 swam, ran and rode bikes to raise money for the hospital. The benefit hit home for co-founder Geoff Lyman, assistant marketing director at the Kaiserman, whose nephew has Down syndrome. The name of the disorder, which comes from the last name of the doctor who discovered it, can be misleading, Lyman says, because Down syndrome kids "are always smiling, so happy."
Not a One-Time Thing: Marci Rubin, who directed Camp KEF for many years before leaving in 2001 and then returning last year, initiated the idea of doing mitzvah projects every summer. “We have always tried to focus our children on helping and respecting others, reflecting our Jewish values theme,” says Rubin, also a longtime Kaiserman board member.
Good for Them: This year’s activities at Kaiserman raised some $4,000 and helped keep the kids aware of the impact they can have on others, claims Rubin. “Has it changed any kids?” she muses. “How could it not?”