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Commemorating the Passing of Teddi
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Commemorating the Passing of Teddi


Last Saturday, my wife, Wendy, and I had the pleasure of being invited to dinner at the home of our dear friend, Phil Rivaldo. What started as a simple dinner gathering turned into a heartwarming reunion as we found ourselves surrounded by friends and long-serving volunteers of Camp Good Days. Reflecting on the evening, I was struck by the many relationships forged over the years and the profound impact these individuals have had on shaping Camp Good Days into what it is today.

The foundation of Camp Good Days was laid with the unwavering dedication, hard work, and sacrifices of these remarkable individuals. Their commitment to our cause has been nothing short of extraordinary, and I am so grateful for their invaluable contributions.

As I sit here today, commemorating the anniversary of Teddi's passing, memories come flooding back to the forefront of my mind. I think back to 1979, the year when Teddi was first diagnosed with cancer, and I first thought of creating a summer camping program. Working in the state assembly at the time often took me to Albany, where one morning, a news story captured my attention. It featured a pediatric oncologist from Michigan who had started a camping program for children undergoing treatment. Witnessing the impact of this program on the lives of these children was both shocking and inspiring.

In an era where discussions about cancer, especially concerning children, were not common practice, the existence of such a camp was revolutionary. It sparked within me the idea to provide Teddi, and children like her, with the opportunity to experience joy, friendship and to also reclaim their childhood from the disease that had stolen it. I was determined to connect with the pediatric oncologist featured on that news segment, a task made challenging in an age without the internet and cell phones. Yet, with the assistance of a dedicated colleague, I obtained the necessary contact information, setting in motion the birth of Camp Good Days.

Fast forward nearly 45 years, and Camp Good Days is a driving force in camps of its kind. Having welcomed over 50,000 campers from across the globe, our impact extends far beyond geographical boundaries. None of this would have been possible without the unwavering support of our dedicated friends and volunteers, whose commitment has been the cornerstone of our success.

Sitting amongst friends and supporters at Phil's dinner table, I am reminded of the remarkable journey we have taken together. As the time approaches for me to retire, I am filled with a sense of pride for all that we have accomplished and gratitude for those who have helped me along the way. Saturday night served as a reminder of the profound impact we have made over the past four decades.