Back in 1988 when there was no summer program for Jonathan, her mobility-challenged son, Janeace Slifka met Ivan Lendl, who changed their lives forever. During a photo shoot for The March of Dimes campaign that Jonathan and Lendl were part of, their conversation turned to sports and, of course, tennis. Soon enough, Janeace connected with the National Foundation of Wheelchair Tennis in California and she and Jonathan went across the country for him to experience the joys of summer camp.
Following that great experience, Janeace was energized by the Foundation and asked for Lendl’s support to raise funds for a similar camp in Connecticut. He happily did so and that was enough to get the camp started. Now sponsored by the Hospital for Special Care and hosted by USJ, the annual Ivan Lendl Adaptive Sports Camp in its 28th year, is a free one-week camp for children, between the ages of 6 and 19, with physical disabilities. Instructed by experienced coaches and nationally- and internationally-recognized athletes who also live with physical disabilities, dozens of campers enjoy a variety of sports.
Over the years, hundreds of children have benefited from the original concept that Janeace developed. Pope John XXIII once said, “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”