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Sunday, May 19, 2024

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Diller Home Gets $10,000 from Conway Family

 

By Leslie Truluck

AVALON –– “Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?”
As twilight dwindled Monday night visually impaired campers sang the National Anthem for a special group of visitors.
Five sons of the late Avalon resident Joseph Conway donated $10,000 to the Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children in memory of their father, an active humanitarian with the Avalon Lions Club.
“We will spend the money well and carefully,” said Douglass Heun, President of the Diller Challenged Charity Corp. Heun said the money will be use-restricted to continue to provide fishing trips, boat rides and ice cream parties for the children.
Thomas, Robert, Gene, Dennis and Joseph Conway, Jr. toured the three-story home, which hosts blind children for weeklong summer vacations filled with Jersey Shore activities. The five brothers annually travel from their homes in Texas, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to reunite for a week in Avalon.
The late Conway was a longtime member of the Avalon Lions Club, which supports the Diller home as its main charity. His sons said the late Conway was a very strong believer in the summer camper program.
Joseph, Jr. announced he and his brothers’ intention to donate $10,000 and explained why the Lions Club and Diller Home here meant so much to their father and how they continue to mean so much to the Conway family.
“My father took to the Lion’s because they have a defined mission. He joined not only for the camaraderie Lions men and women offer, but additionally to help a good cause.
“Our gift is fitting because after he passed-on there’s no better way to thank the Lions for all their support,” Joseph, Jr. said.
Camp Director Jennifer Layton said this summer the camp hosted a total of 103 campers with 17 campers staying for a second week and 24 campers this year were there for the first time. Layton said the camp has about an 85 percent return rate.
The camp is open eight weeks each season and accommodates any blind or visually impaired child aged 7 to 15 absolutely free of charge to their parents. The Diller Home opened its doors in 1970 and is able to continue through generous donations.
A video of the Diller Home is available on the Herald’s Web site.
Contact Truluck at (609) 886-8600 ext. 24 or at: ltruluck @cmcherald.com

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