Eric Parkes (center) at Camp Ramah with his Tikvah program counselors, Josh Sowalsky (left) and Nadav Slovin.
WEST HARTFORD â€“ The Second Annual Tour de Shuls bike (or walk or run!) ride to benefit the Tikvah Program for developmentally challenged adolescents at Camp Ramah will pedal off from Beth El Temple at 2626 Albany Ave. in West Hartford, on Sunday, June 19. Beth Elâ€™s Rabbi James Rosen will lead the pack of community members representing more than 20 participating synagogues, day schools and youth groups throughout Connecticut and parts of Massachusetts.
Launched in 1970, the Tikvah Program provides campers with a full camp experience.
Among those participating will be 19-year old Eric Parkes of Fairfield and his family. A veteran camper at the Palmer, Mass. overnight camp, Eric was born with Tuberous Sclerosis, Seizure Disorder and Autism.
â€œEric began Camp Ramah when he was thirteen years old and he will be attending for his sixth summer this June,â€ says his mother Penney Parkes. â€œAt Camp Ramah, my son is treated like a typical kidâ€¦sure he has more staff and some modified activities, but he feels part of a large and welcoming camp community. The staff is phenomenal; supportive, warm, caring and fun.â€
An expert at the ropes course and climbing tower, Eric has learned independent living skills through the Tikvah Program â€“ including learning to cook, dress himself, take directions and get along with peers.
Tour de Shuls offers five different distances to choose from for the ride, walk or run. Lunch and entertainment by The Klezmen will be provided.
To register or for more information visit www.tdsct.com.
Bike, walk, run for a cause.