Come summer, a group of local children will join in a rite of the season that had not seemed destined for them: summer camp. For these children, it will be a field of dreams, made possible by the inaugural Jim Hamilton Camp Scholarships that will go to families assisted by Fisherman’s Mark. Funding for this program was the final charitable award from Friends of Ely Park, an area non-profit that served the community for many years and dissolved at the end of 2020.
Mr. Hamilton, who died in 2018, was known in Lambertville and beyond for his talents as a designer and chef, community vision, and philanthropy, much of which went to helping young people fulfill their dreams. He established Friends of Ely Park and was a guiding light of Lambertville’s Shad Festival and generous support of Fisherman’s Mark.
The scholarship in Mr. Hamilton’s name will be awarded annually to as many as five children in perpetuity, funded through a $50,000 endowment. It will be administered by Fisherman’s Mark, with the children’s camp costs paid to the The City of Lambertville Recreation Department, which operates the camp. Camp activities range from sports to arts to field trips.
While summer camp is a given for many children, for others it is beyond their families’ budgets, all the more so during the past year’s pandemic. Fisherman’s Mark Executive Director Jennifer Williford expressed delight at the agency’s role in making camp possible for children who otherwise would not have the chance. She said some of her most cherished memories from childhood were of days at camp: “Now, each summer the Jim Hamilton Camp Scholarship will bring that joy and create those memories to children of some of the families we serve.”
Although Mr. Hamilton has departed this world, his legacy continues to touch lives still in it.