First Lady Mary Pat Christie Names 27th New Jersey Hero During Autism Awareness Month
First Lady Mary Pat Christie named Cathy Carisi of Camp Acorn as her third New Jersey Hero of 2014. Camp Acorn, founded by Cathy in 2001, is a summer/winter social and recreational program for children and young adults with multiple disabilities. Camp Acorn’s mission is to provide a supportive environment through programs that address the physical, emotional, and social well-being of children and adults with special needs. These programs help campers build self-esteem, confidence, and life skills that branch into all aspects of their lives. The Camp has since expanded to include monthly Friday night dances, a nine-week full-time summer program, and a two-hour after-school program on Tuesdays and Thursdays that offers cooking and fitness activities. Cathy’s goal is to expand Camp Acorn into a full-time, year round, twenty-one and over program for adults with developmental disabilities. “Cathy Carisi is a true inspiration,” said Mrs. Christie. “I admire Cathy’s commitment to volunteering, which ultimately fostered in her a passion to serve those with special needs that has grown deeper and stronger for more than 20 years. Her dedication and genuine compassion for all the participants has made a difference in the lives of not only the campers, but their families, staff and volunteers at Camp Acorn. I am proud to name her our third New Jersey Hero of 2014.”For more details on Camp Acorn, please visit their website: http://campacorn.org/.