Fire destroys part of Paul Newman’s camp for sick children lifestyle

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ASHFORD, Conn. (AP) – A fire on Friday night destroyed four buildings in Paul Newman’s Hole in Wall Gang Camp for seriously ill children in Connecticut.

Camp chief Jimmy Canton said it appears no one was injured in the fire, which was reported just after 5 p.m. He said the buildings that housed the warehouse’s store and handicrafts, wood store and cooking programs had been destroyed.

“Although the cause of the fire is unknown at this point, the Hole in Wall Gang Camp is known to be a community devoted to hope and healing,” Canton said in a statement. “We will get through this as we always have and always will – as a family.”

The camp, with extensive on-site medical facilities, was founded by Newman in the forests of east Connecticut in 1988 with a western theme inspired by Newman’s film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

It offers summer camping experiences for children with severe physical and medical limitations, although the traditional summer camp was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The charity also runs child contact programs in more than 40 hospitals, clinics, and other facilities in the Northeast, and serves more than 20,000 children each year.

The camp is funded in part by income from the sale of Newman’s Own branded products.

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