Column: Camp Twin Lakes busy investing newly raised funds

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on July 31, 2015

In the ongoing push by Rotary International to eradicate polio around the It only took Camp Twin Lakes 11 months to meet (and exceed) its $2.9 million campaign goal, and now the nonprofit is busy investing those funds to make improvements at its various facilities.

One project that is about to come online is a home for adults with developmental disabilities. It will be located at Camp Rutledge near Madison, Ga.

“It’s a unique collaboration between us and Jewish Family & Career Services,” said Eric Robbins, CEO of Camp Twin Lakes. “This is an innovative collaboration with two stellar nonprofit organizations filling a need and setting a trend in how adults with developmental disabilities could live their lives.”

Jewish Family & Career Services will manage the home, and the partnership envisions giving the adult residents opportunities to both live and work at Camp Rutledge. They also are partnering with a Madison-based nonprofit, Hand-In-Hand Ministries, which orchestrates programs for adults with developmental disabilities within Morgan County.

“Our collective goal is to help these adults realize their dreams of autonomy, and integrate them through meaningful work at camp on our sustainable teaching farm, with food prep in the dining hall, administrative office work, housekeeping, maintenance, or with programming,” Robbins said. “We envision the group home as a destination for some of our campers as they age out of camp and enter the broader community.”

Robbins said he hopes this will become a model for future partnerships in the state.

Camp Twin Lakes also is investing at its other sites, and it is seeking a longer lease for its camp in Warm Springs.

“We will pretty much be done with all the projects we raised money for by the end of the year,” Robbins said.

But Jessie Rosenberg, Camp Twin Lakes’ director of development, has said she’s still raising money. The nonprofit declared victory in the spring when it reached $3.06 million earlier this year.

“Although we have officially met our campaign goal, we have a number of additional improvements at our campsites that were not a part of the original scope,” Rosenberg said in an email to friends of the organization.

MUST Ministries

Two million summer lunches later…

Former Gov. Roy Barnes helped MUST Ministries celebrate its 20th year by handing out the 2 millionth summer lunch on July 28 at the Pine Haven Playground in Marietta.

MUST Ministries distributes 7,000 lunches each summer weekday to children in need throughout eight Georgia counties. They are distributed to children who receive free or reduced-price lunches during the school year. The program started in 1995, serving 25 children. It is expected to exceed 250,000 lunches this summer.

Vinings Bank

At a recent board meeting of Vinings Bank, J. Dan Oliver was elected chairman – in addition to his role as CEO of the Smyrna-based bank. Oliver, one of the bank’s co-founders eight years ago, previously had served as its chief financial officer.

The bank also named three new directors to its board – Kenneth L. Todd” Makant, Michael A. “Mickey” Brown, and Jeffrey N. Plowman.

Makant, who has 25 years of experience in the banking industry, was one of the organizers of Vinings Bank and was recently promoted to senior executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Brown is a retired executive with Georgia Power. And Plowman is a retired attorney with more than 30 years of experience in commercial real estate law.

The bank also announced that Clark F. Hungerford has been promoted to president and chief credit officer; and Cassy A. Ferrell has been promoted to executive vice president and senior operations officer.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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