Going to camp helped Mike Walter where he is today – Press Telegram



Mike Walter, one of Long Beach’s most successful businessmen, educators and community leaders, owes much of his success to the fact that he went to camp when he grew up in Illinois .

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t been to camp,” Walter told me last week. He had called for support for Press-Telegram’s Send-a-Kid-to-Camp campaign to send children in need to summer camps in the mountains.

The 22nd Annual Fundraiser is now underway, asking readers to help send children to camps operated by the YMCA of Grand Long Beach, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Long Beach, Camp Fire Angeles, the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts.

The campaign was launched by the late Press-Telegram columnist Tom Hennessy and Jean Bixby Smith, president emeritus of the Long Beach Community Foundation.

So far readers have donated $ 48,103.

And last week, an anonymous donor said he would contribute an additional $ 25,000 if readers match that amount with their collective donations from June 13 to July 4, when the campaign ends.

Walter, meanwhile, called to say he would donate to help reach the $ 25,000 goal and urged PT readers to do the same.

“It’s so beneficial to go camping in the great outdoors,” said Walter, Dean Emeritus of Cal State Long Beach College of Business and a successful businessman with various companies including Levi Strauss & Co. and the DuPont Company. . He is also a community leader helping several non-profit organizations.

Walter grew up in Albany, a small town in western Illinois across the Mississippi River from Clinton, Iowa, where he was born.

“I was raised by my grandparents and went to camps paid for by the American Legion because we didn’t have a lot of money,” he said. “I learned so much in these camps. I have learned to swim and do so many other things that I would never have learned if I had not been to these camps. I really motivated myself to do things and I gained confidence in myself.

By the way, Walter said that during snowy winters, he asked his grandmother to knit more mittens for him because he would give his to more needy children.

“We helped each other get along,” he said, “as we should now.”

Walter joined the United States Army after high school and made it into the United States Military Academy at West Point. He becomes a military engineer.

“I was 17 when I joined the military on August 17 and had $ 17 in my pocket,” he laughed. “There wouldn’t have been a West Point without these camps and what I’ve learned.”

Now it’s your turn to help. Your donations will help meet the matching offer of $ 25,000. Your dollars will allow children to have a unique experience at camp for a week. We invite you to make your contribution and make a child’s dreams come true. Keep in mind that it takes an average of $ 450 to send a youth to camp for a week.

Mike Walter, The Press-Telegram, Community Foundation and youth organizations thank you in advance for making a difference in the lives of many children.

If you want to donate

Online donations are preferred and can be submitted at longbeachcf.org/donate/skc.

You can also send a check payable to: Long Beach Community Foundation (with Send-a-Kid-to-Camp in the memo), 400 Oceangate, Suite 800, Long Beach CA 90802.

2021 Send a child to Camp Dons

June 1-16: $ 37,053.00

Campaign to date: $ 48,103.00


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