On January 7-8, Mr. and Mrs. Yechiel Mayer (a.k.a. Franky) Frenkel, along with the Toms River Community hosted an unforgettable Chai Lifeline Shabbaton for 70 Camp Simcha boys and staff.The boys arrived on Friday afternoon to a welcome party where they reminisced about camp, connected with old friends, and received special gift bags full of goodies and toys. The event was fully medically-supervised, with a paramedic, 4 nurses, and 3 Camp Simcha division heads led by Rabbi Duvy Feiler on hand.
The snow didn’t stop the fun. Community members and staff quickly pitched in to clear paths for wheelchairs to roll smoothly into Shabbos. Shabbos began with tefillos from beautiful baalei tefillah, including famous composer and singer Hershy Weinberger. The kids then enjoyed delicious catered meals which took place in a tent outside Rabbi Rotberg’s shul. Rabbi Rotberg addressed the group, offering inspiring words of chizuk and praised the Camp Simcha counselors for their selflessness and devotion to their campers.
“Obviously, so much goes into coordinating such a Shabbos with so many involved to make it happen,” said Mr. Frenkel. “ To see the campers in such high spirits was a highlight. My biggest inspiration are the Camp Simcha counselors, who are so selfless and dedicated to their campers every need, 24 hours a day.”
The Shabbos culminated in a beautiful, gourmet buffet Melava Malka, with singing led by Shulem Lemmer and Shea Berko, along with jaw-dropping hypnotist Moshe Tawill who entertained the crowd.
“The Toms River community in general and Franky, specifically, are not just hosts, but rather partners,” said Chai Lifeline NJ Director of Community Services Rabbi Aharon Koslowitz. “They were involved in every detail and got to know each individual counselor and camper. They welcomed everyone as extended family.”
Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special are projects of Chai Lifeline, the international children’s health support network which provides emotional, social, and financial support to children with life-threatening or lifelong illnesses and their families. To learn more about Chai Lifeline, please visit www.chailifeline.org.