WESTPORT, Conn., April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, a growing global community of innovative camps and programs for children with serious illnesses founded by Paul Newman, has changed its name to SeriousFun Children's Network. The new name underscores Paul Newman's passionate belief in the power of taking fun seriously and more broadly represents the organization's expanding global reach. The transition to SeriousFun Children's Network is effective immediately worldwide and integral to the organization's growth.
The change to SeriousFun Children's Network was officially announced to supporters and friends inside Avery Fisher Hall in New York City last night at the organization's gala billed "A Celebration of Paul Newman's Dream" in honor of its founder. An all-star cast, including performances and appearances by Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Josh Groban, Trisha Yearwood, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Jake Gyllenhaal and NaTasha Yvette Williams, joined a chorus of campers representing SeriousFun's diverse global camps and programs on stage to celebrate the new name.
SeriousFun Children's Network President and CEO John C. Read noted that the new name is an opportunity to share the remarkable journey of the organization, which over the course of 25 years has grown from one camp in Connecticut to a strong, united network of 28 camps and programs around the world.
"Our founder, Paul Newman, always knew that taking fun seriously could make a real difference in the lives of children facing a serious illness," said Read. "His incredible vision inspired so many people, leaving a lasting impression that lives on today as SeriousFun Children's Network."
Since the inception of its flagship member, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Connecticut in 1988, more than 384,700 children and their families have been served by an evolving global network of camps and programs. Read cited this global growth as a principal motivator for the name change, noting the importance of more clearly linking the camps together under the distinct SeriousFun Children's Network name.
"The camps have always been connected by a shared belief in the power of fun, but now they are unified by a new name and better positioned to spread the word about the inspired work happening worldwide," said Read. "Children coping with the daily hardships of illness deserve a chance to kick back and simply be kids – and SeriousFun Children's Network stands ready to reach even more children and their families around the world."
With a new strategic plan for elevating global awareness and encouraging charitable donations, SeriousFun Children's Network aims to strengthen support and bring Paul Newman's vision to new corners of the world. A renewed focus on cultivating relationships with national and global corporations will be instrumental in continuing SeriousFun's growth and excellence worldwide.
The gala was generously supported by Newman's Own Foundation, which is dedicated to carrying on Paul Newman's philanthropic legacy and commitment to helping make the world a better place by turning all net royalties and profits from the sale of Newman's Own products into charitable donations. SeriousFun Children's Network is generously supported by Newman's Own Foundation, yet relies primarily on private funding and the generosity of groups and individuals to continue serving all children free of charge.
In addition to last night's name announcement, the organization unveiled a new SeriousFun Children's Network logo – a big smile in bold blue that encompasses Paul Newman's vision and the cherished Hole in the Wall history. Each camp retains its existing name and branding, which now appear alongside the SeriousFun Children's Network name and logo. Camp operations remain unchanged.
More information about SeriousFun Children's Network is available online at www.seriousfunnetwork.org. Corporations, groups and individuals interested in making a donation to the network as a whole or any one of its member camps can visit www.seriousfunnetwork.org/donate. For the latest SeriousFun Children's Network news and updates, follow @SeriousFunCamps on Twitter or visit www.facebook.com/SeriousFunCamps.
For footage and photographs* of the annual gala please visit www.epklink.com/SeriousFun.
*FOOTAGE RESTRICTIONS: No more than 3 minutes (180 seconds) of footage from the video EPK can be used for any news coverage without further permission from the event publicists.
About SeriousFun Children's Network
SeriousFun Children's Network is a growing global community of innovative camps and programs that provide life-changing support to children with serious illnesses and their families. Known as The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps until April 2012, when the organization changed its name to underscore founder Paul Newman's passionate belief in the power of taking fun seriously, SeriousFun Children's Network remains deeply rooted in the philosophy that children with serious illnesses deserve an opportunity to simply be kids. Since the first camp's inception in 1988, more than 384,700 children and their families have been served by SeriousFun Children's Network, including over 253,800 children from 50 countries. Today SeriousFun Children's Network includes 28 initiatives worldwide, all reaching beyond illness to help children and their families discover joy, confidence and a new world of possibility. SeriousFun Children's Network and each of its member camps are independent not-for-profit organizations dependent upon private funding and the generosity of others to serve all children free of charge. Visit www.seriousfunnetwork.org.
Porter Novelli (for SeriousFun Children's Network)
SOURCE SeriousFun Children’s Network