In 2008 a $10,000 grant from the Elks National Foundation provided the impetus for this unique project.
Locally, the Lockport Elks Lodge #41 has been a longstanding supporter of both Intandem, Empower and the Lockport Family YMCA. Their interest in the welfare of people with developmental disabilities caused them to pursue this grant establishing this cooperative inter-agency effort for Niagara County’s first and only day camp for people with developmental disabilities.
The Local Club raises funds for the camp all year-long through grants, bottle donations, individual gifts, a “Chile Cook-off”, Pig Roast and the “Handful of Happiness” annual raffle. As a result of successful partnerships, Camp Happiness celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2017.
The recreational activities available as part of this week-long experience offer people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities numerous health and social benefits, as well as a needed respite for their caregivers. For most attendees, this will be their first experience at camp.
The Elks National Foundation has donated to Camp Happiness since 2008, in part, with in-kind services provided by the Lockport Family YMCA, Empower and Intandem. Sponsorship and leadership donor opportunities are available to businesses, corporations, organizations and individuals interested in helping people ages 10 to 91 with developmental disabilities realize their potential while experiencing five fun-filled days at Camp Happiness. Securing new funding each year is vital to the program.
Families and interested campers should contact Charlotte Baker-Cunningham at (716) 434-4050.
Camp Happiness is a 501-c3 charitable organization. All donations are utilized for camp expenses only and therefore are tax deductible. The camp will be held at the Cambria Fire Hall in 2023.
Special thanks to all corporate and community benefactors for their generous donations to Camp Happiness.