As a third generation, family-oriented campground who puts a strong emphasis on familial values, Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds was honored to partner with the Where Angels Play Foundation on a new project for the campground.
Where Angels Play is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building playgrounds in tribute of family tragedies. The organization was founded by Bill Lavin after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. Bill, like many, struggled in finding an appropriate way to honor the children, families and teachers during this time. His idea was to build 26 playgrounds in memory of every student or teacher lost in communities that had been destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.
Today, Where Angels Play has 30 playgrounds and growing in recovering communities throughout the nation.
To honor Mallory and her family, Where Angels Play built a playground in June 2019 at Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds, a place where she loved spending her summer weekends with her family.
The organization, always looking to give back to communities and pay the kindness forward, had caught wind of Mallory’s Army Foundation, an organization that began after a family tragedy in one of Rip Van Winkle’s seasonal campers’ families.
In an effort to raise awareness about bullying and fighting against it, Mallory’s Army was founded in her memory. Members of Mallory’s army teach and promote kindness to all.
Mallory Rose Grossman, a seasonal camper at Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds had a heart of gold and would oftentimes spend her annual summer camping trips making and selling handmade jewelry to raise money for her favorite charity, Camp Good Days. Her selfless, kind-hearted nature made her more inspirational than the average adult. In 2017, Mallory died by suicide at the age of 12 because of bullying.
If you’re interested in becoming a soldier in Mallory’s army, Mallory’s Army Gear can be purchased at http://mallorysarmy.org/mallorys-army-gear/. All proceeds will be used to raise funds to support the Mallory’s Army Foundation and the Grossman family in their fight against bullying.