Though we have welcomed volunteers to our campus for decades, something happened in 2006 that transformed their involvement—and our programs—forever. Stephanie Spiegel, Andrea Soloway, and Stephanie Hochfelder launched the first “A Tree Grows in Pleasantville” fundraiser. Their mission was to allow every child to experience JCCA’s life-saving therapy, and recreational services.

2021 will be our 16th “A Tree Grows in Pleasantville” celebration, and hopefully our only one held virtually. When it first began, it was held in the PCS dining hall, with a papier-mâché tree mounted in the middle of the room with hand-cut paper leaves hanging from the branches. However, the seed planted in that room has grown into a tree too large to fit on Campus and moved to a beautiful event space at Temple Beth El in Chappaqua in 2018.

In the past 16 years, the Tree event has had an immense impact on the young people in JCCA’s care. They’ve been able to go to summer camp, attend music and dance lessons, take educational and purely fun trips. It has also made it possible for so many kids to gain valuable professional experiences and grow as students through internships and tutoring.

Our kids and alumni tell us that these experiences benefited them for a lifetime. Memories of canoeing, or acing your first geometry test, are the kinds that stick with our kids.

This year, our event will be held virtually, because of the pandemic. However, we still have many great and creative plans up our sleeves that will enrich and bring joy to our kids.

Here’s a teaser of just a few of them:

  • A Winter Carnival with Hot Cocoa
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Tutors to Help Our Kids Succeed

We have no doubt that the celebration this year will be just as meaningful, moving, and successful as it has for the past 15 years. We can’t wait to see you there!