VBS builds character
+Tug at the heartstrings
It was the kind of letter Lydia Gartner, the director of the Foundation for Dreams, loves to read after a child attends the organization's Dream Oaks Camp in East County.
Bradenton's Lilliann Bridges, a 10-year-old Bradenton resident who has cerebral palsy, was moved to write Gartner during her visit June 18-22.
"I felt accepted and everybody loved me for me," Bridges (above) wrote in the letter. "Everyone didn't stare at me everywhere I went."
Bridges, picture with camp counselor Hannah MacDonald, especially loved the camp's talent show and the tug of war contest.
Seven-year-old Braden River Lakes resident Caden Welch, pictured, may not have wanted to go to Oasis Church's Vacation Bible School June 20, but after just one time, he was hooked after trying the "Ninja Warrior"-inspired obstacle course.
"It was fun," Caden said. "I like racing."
His mom, Melanie Welch, said the experience, which also includes a variety of crafts and music, gives him confidence.