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News Release

Penta Family’s Love for Joslin Inspires New Dining Facility at Camp Joslin for Children with Diabetes

Dining Hall Dedication set for Camp Alumni Day, Saturday, July 22, in Charlton, MA

BOSTON – July 18, 2006 - When campers arrived this summer for the start of summer camp at the Elliott P. Joslin Camp for Children with Diabetes in Charlton, MA, they found something new had been added to the camp over the winter -- a state-of-the-art dining hall.

Construction of the dining hall was made possible through the generosity of Louise Penta, a Joslin Overseer, who, along with her family, has been involved with Camp Joslin and Joslin Diabetes Center for more than 16 years. Mrs. Penta was inspired to donate the dining hall by her son, Paul, a longtime Joslin patient and former camper.  Mrs. Penta, a resident of Back Bay in Boston, will be joined by many dedicated supporters at Camp Joslin’s Alumni Day this Saturday, July 22.
Former campers and friends of Camp Joslin will join to celebrate during the camp’s annual Alumni Day. Registration for the daylong festivities will begin at 10:30 a.m., and the days’ highlight will be the dining hall dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon. Other activities will include camp tours, camper performances, an alumni softball game, lunch and a vendor fair.

“The new Dining Hall will serve as a central location for many activities at camp, and sets the stage for the camp to function year-round,” says Joslin Camp Director John Latimer.

Longtime Association

Mrs. Penta’s long-time involvement with Joslin Diabetes Center began when her son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 3 and she brought him to Joslin for care; he continues to be a Joslin patient today.  Paul attended Camp Joslin as a camper and a counselor for more than 10 years, and returned in the summer of 2003 as Head Chef.  “The diagnosis deeply affected our family life and started my life-long commitment to diabetes education and research,” says Mrs. Penta. 

For more than two years Mrs. Penta and Paul were involved in the design of the new space. The 10,000-square-foot dining hall features a professional kitchen, modeled and designed with input from Paul, a recent graduate of the Johnson & Wales culinary program.  The dining area can accommodate more than 200 campers and staff, and there is a specific blood glucose checking area for the campers.  It also has a built-in fireplace, a piano and plenty of space for traditional camping activities. The additional space below the dining hall will be used for indoor recreational activities, making it ideal for camping programs and retreats year round. 

“Louise Penta’s special gift of the dining hall to Camp Joslin is a testament to her dedication to improving the lives of children with diabetes, and her generosity will have a tremendous impact on the children and families involved with Camp Joslin for years to come,” says C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., President of Joslin Diabetes Center and the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

About Joslin’s Camping Programs

Joslin founder Elliott P. Joslin, M.D., established Joslin’s camping program for children with diabetes over 80 years ago, and the camping programs continue to expand. The Charlton camp, located an hour west of Boston on over 300 acres near Old Sturbridge Village, is one of the oldest diabetes camps in America and the recipient of numerous awards. Camp staff co-authored the diabetes medical standards for the American Camping Association and helped to form and incorporate the Diabetes Education and Camping Association, which is the nationally recognized professional association for diabetes camp professionals. This summer, over 550 children with diabetes will attend the camp. A Wilderness Leadership Camping program for teens is among the programs offered. For more information about Alumni Day or Joslin’s camping programs, contact the Camp Office at (617) 226-5760 or check out information about the program on Joslin’s website.

To view an image of Louise Penta, and of the new dining hall, click here.