Wednesday afternoon marked the third annual end of the summer pool party and celebration for the Lower Southampton summer camp program and the Sunshine Foundation’s “Dream Children.”
Dolphin Swim Club, located on Bristol Pike in Feasterville, hosted both the camp and the Foundation for a day of food, swimming, and fun.
Matt Gilbert, Lower Southampton Parks and Recreation Director, takes great pride in the connection the township has made with the Sunshine Foundation.
The Foundation was established in 1976 by Bill Sample, a Philadelphia Police Officer, with a mission to help chronically or terminally ill children and their families’ dreams come true.
“The happiness that those “Dream Children” have is the best part of the day, and on top of that it’s our campers last week in camp and they really enjoy it too so we wrap it up with a barbecue and a nice party,” Gilbert said at the event.
In the past 40 years, the Sunshine Foundation has granted more than 40,000 dreams. The children enrolled in this foundation do not need to have illnesses, disabilities, or impairments that are life-threatening.
The Sunshine Foundation’s goal is to help children aged 3 to 18, whose families are unable to fulfill their requests due to a financial strain the child’s illness may prompt.
Kate Sample, President of the Sunshine Foundation, understands it’s not every day the selected “Dream Children” have the opportunity to swim in a pool.
Two dreamers affiliated with the Feasterville national headquarters located on Mill Creek Drive were able to join in the festivities.
Errica, 13, of Bristol suffers from epilepsy and multiple disabilities and Liaranna, 8, of Philadelphia with cerebral palsy enjoyed the pool for the whole afternoon with the Lower South campers by their side.
“They might not be going down the slide or jumping off the diving board, but once they get in the pool it’s like everything they could ever ask for.”
Through dreams coming true, the Sunshine Foundation grew a bond with the Lower Southampton Township, Stu Coren, President of the Rosen-Coren Agency and most importantly the families involved.
“It’s a moment that can be so enjoyable for families because from what I gather by being around them,” Sample added, “they appreciate living in the moment since they don’t necessarily know what might happen tomorrow.”
WBCB’s Ryan Erney contributed to this post.