Camp ANCHOR is known for its swimming, drama, sports and other programs for children and adults with special needs, but now it has added surfing to the list of its summer recreational activities, thanks to the Tommy Brull Foundation.
The Rockville Centre-based nonprofit organization, focused on improving the lives of those with physical, mental and emotional challenges on Long Island, was launched in 2008 and is dedicated to honoring the life of Rockville Centre resident and former Camp ANCHOR counselor Tommy Brull. Since its inception, the group has raised money for multiple charities, including Camp ANCHOR’s building fund.
Camp ANCHOR (Answering the Needs of Citizens with Handicaps through Organized Recreation) is a year-round recreation program dedicated to children and adults with special needs in the Town of Hempstead. It also offers a comprehensive six-week summer camp.
Last month, the Tommy Brull Foundation launched the first ever surfing camp at ANCHOR, with money raised at its annual fundraiser at Cannon’s Blackthorn last November and at Unsound surf shop’s art auction in May. More than 150 children and adults participated in the outings over a two-week period, with instructors from Skudin Surf on hand to provide lessons and equipment, said Tommy Brull Foundation co-founder Martin Brull, Tommy’s brother and a local surfer.
“We had a very good response from the community and families involved,” Brull said. “Originally we were going to do one week, but there was such a demand for it that we expanded it for two weeks. It really gave them a chance to really surf, and we had two to three instructors and volunteers helping out each kid in the water.”
The surf camp was organized by one of the foundation’s members, Keith Lucchese. Brull said that establishing a surf camp at ANCHOR had long been a goal of the foundation, adding that surfing often builds confidence and self-esteem among kids.