Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children suffering from serious illnesses is reopening its creative complex. The camp had a $4.5 million makeover after it was devastated by a fire in 2021. The Newman’s Own Foundation itself donated $1 million to the renovations.
The new main building consists of 11,000 square feet of space. But from the outside, the walls are designed to look like a group of buildings along the main street of an old west town.
Located in eastern Connecticut, the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is made up to look like a town straight out of an old western movie, the kind where the hero wears a white hat and always wins in a shootout with the bad guy who always wore black. The Hole in the Wall Gang itself was one of the largest groups of outlaws in the old west, which included legendary – or infamous depending on your outlook – bandits like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
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Camp CEO Jimmy Canton told AP, “What was a traumatic, horrible event was quickly turned around because of the kindness of strangers, and loyalty of longtime friends. So, you know, they took this tragedy and turned it into a blessing.”
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp was founded in 1988 by Paul Newman with one simple premise in mind: “to provide opportunities for children with serious illnesses to experience the transformational spirit and friendships that go hand-in-hand with camp.”
A legendary actor and visionary philanthropist, Paul Newman founded The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in 1988 so children with serious illnesses could just be kids, and “raise a little hell” while experiencing diverse and transformational friendships that go hand-in-hand with Camp. Paul’s innovative spirit, creativity and playfulness remain at the heart of all Hole in the Wall programming. His legacy is carried on each year by the thousands of donors, volunteers, staff and other friends who have made his dream their own.
On the restoration Jimmy Canton said, “After 33 years of watching the resilience of our kids and their families, when something like this happened, there was no option but to rise, right? Their resilience teaches us how to be resilient, teaches this camp to be resilient. I mean, that’s why this place is so sacred.”
The camp is a non-profit and anyone interested in making donations, volunteering or partnering with it should click here.