Dear Friends of Willowbrook,
As I write these words, I imagine all of you who will be reading them: Willowbrook parents and families, Willowbrook campers, Willowbrook teachers, and those like myself who grew up at Willowbrook and continue to benefit from the Willowbrook experience.
What does it mean to grow up at Willowbrook? To me, it meant exposure to arts, cultures, and adventure that otherwise may have been beyond my reach. It meant being surrounded by people of all ages who treated each other with respect and compassion. It meant picking up new instruments and exploring their sounds, trying on the words of Shakespeare, learning to knit, writing plays and poetry, exploring the wildlife in the park, and dancing the Teton Mountain Stomp. Most of all, it meant being in a place where I was free to try all kinds of things, and to succeed or fail and try again. This particular learning is one that has served me well time and again in my adult life—the confidence to try with the knowledge that failure along the way is important learning for my next try.
Now, like many of you, I am a grown-up camper, and I am filled with gratitude as I look back at the many summers I spent at Willowbrook. Many of us still enjoy the close friendships we forged at Brown’s Ferry Park. Professional careers have blossomed from passions born at camp. We are all able to appreciate the world around us in a different way because of our experiences of Willowbrook’s magic. Some of us will have the pleasure of sending our children to have the same experiences we had.
This may be the best part of being a Willowbrook alumnus: to return and see the new generation of children, to know that they too will have their eyes opened to the wonderful world of arts and crafts, and to see them laughing, growing, exploring, making friendships, and blooming in this wonderful place.
When I was a camper, I thought that Willowbrook only existed for six weeks in the summer. Now, as a member of the board, I see that Willowbrook is made possible by a dedicated team of staff, parents and volunteers who work year-round to make the upcoming summers the best that they can be. This team assesses programming, writes grant proposals, improves infrastructure, organizes events, and helps to ensure that Willowbrook will continue for many campers to come.
In the last year we raised over $12,000 at the annual art auction, had a succesful GoFundMe campaign to replace outdated cameras, were able to reopen the Village storytelling tent and complete creation of the very popular Invention tent. One family even donated a brand new computer and software for the Film center! In addition, three grants supported scholarship assistance for low-income campers. We sincerely thank everyone who contributed generously to help Willowbrook create learning opportunities in the arts!
Willowbrook was awarded “Best Camp” in three categories of the NW Kids Magazine’s camp competition this year, thanks to support from our incredible families! We are a non-profit organization and like other arts programs and educational institutions, we cannot function robustly by solely relying on tuition to provide award-winning programming. Another important source of funds is the holiday giving donated by so many generous families like yours. We are currently facing a need for important upgrades to computers and technology systems- you’ll be able to register and eventually pay camp fees online! Our wish list also includes a sound and lighting system for performances. Every enhancement will result in a stronger camp for your children, grandchildren, and all campers.
We are now asking you to think of how much Willowbrook has meant and continues to mean to your family’s children. By sending your tax-deductible donation, from $10 to $1000, you will help ensure that your child and hundreds of others can continue to have extraordinary art-filled summers for many years to come. In addition to a one-time gift, you can also support Willowbrook monthly through a revolving auto-withdrawal that can be set up on our Contribute page. And as a reminder, Willowbrook is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, making your contributions tax deductible. The organization’s EIN is #93-0722365. We are also part of the Oregon Cultural Trust – a good thing to keep in mind regarding corporate matching donations. Your generous contribution will help ensure that Willowbrook magically appears again each summer!
Thank you so much for your generosity. We can’t wait to see you next summer!
Naomi (Litwer-Mos) Broome
Board Member, former Drama Specialist, Alumna
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