Betty O’Neill-Roderick

A Regatta Celebration on Rex Lake celebrated the revamping of the Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs. The camp was founded in 1924 to provide a camp experience for children with polio — today kids with special needs enjoy swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts, sports and games in the beautiful lake setting on the Portage Lakes.

Nick and Ruthie George greeted 400 guests at the Great Hall where Beau’s Grille and Beau’s on the River served dinner at stations throughout the new facility. Frank and Eileen Field, Claire and Graham Reinke, Marilyn Stevens, Lola Vincent, Stella Kunkler and Ed and Carol Wagner enjoyed mini lobster pies, beef tenderloin, Beau’s Jambalaya, and lamb Popsicles, while Dan and Lisa Detsch and Dick and Dianne Wright stepped out onto one of the decks to enjoy the view of the lake.

Mike and Jan Woyno said more than 1,000 kids enjoyed the camp this summer, while Rennick Andreoli praised volunteers from RDA Hotel Management Co. who assisted with construction of the new heated cabins at the camp. Andreoli headed the capital campaign that raised $3.5 million for the camp renovations.

“We’re the hidden gem on the lake, now we’re the shining star,” said Executive Director Dan Reynolds. Mella Castner, director of development, said with the new heated cabins, kids can come for respite care year-round.

On the beach, Phil Perretta invited Chris and Tricia Tipping, Ed and Carol Wagner, Noel and Beth Dannemiller and Jim Maguire aboard a pontoon boat for a sunset cruise, while a beautiful white swan swam by looking for treats. Dale and Karla Mugler and Doug and Carol Hausknecht enjoyed the sunset around the campfire where camp counselor Mikey Vale prepared s’mores.

Guests enjoyed the grand dessert buffet in a tent where Dean Ross of Event Lighting installed hot pink lights and crystal beading in the clear tent which allowed guests a great view of the fireworks over the lake. Honorary Chairman Jim Tressel enjoyed the evening along with Ted Curtis, Roland and Sara Bertolini, Doug and Kyra Bosnik, Barbara Bishop, Dr. Larry Cervino, Kevin Kinsley, Deedee Andreoli, Barbara Dunaway, Bud and Susie Rogers and John and Betty Dalton.