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BB Camp announces $500,000 donation gift launched by Marjorie and the late Morley Blankstein, Carol and Barry McArton and Max Blankstein

by Jessica Worb, May 20, 2017

BB Camp’s Capital Campaign, which was launched November 2016, is on its way to reaching its monetary goal. The campaign, which is set out to raise $6-8 million dollars, has surpassed over $ 3.6 million dollars, says Brenda Tessler-Donen, BB Camp’s Executive Director.

With the halfway mark approaching, the Camp thought it was a perfect time to introduce a number of donors and naming opportunities secured to date. Through todays and upcoming “campaign series”, it is our hope to highlight and recognize the many individuals and families contributing to the BB Camp Capital Campaign and share their stories of support.

As a part of the Campaign, major donors have the opportunity to have components of the Camp named after them or their families.

BB Camp gratefully announces a donation of $500,000 from Marjorie and the late Morley Blankstein, Carol and Barry McArton and Max Blankstein. In support of the Camp’s Capital Campaign, BB Camp is pleased to announce the naming of the Olam Gadol and Amphitheatre in memory of Morley Blankstein z,l. The preservation of the Olam Gadol’s original name was very important to the Blankstein/McArton family members and honours Morley longstanding involvement and contribution both as a former Camp board member and lead designer of this heritage building.

In a candid conversation, Carol and her mother Marjorie reminisce on their memories at BB Camp. “I never went to BB Camp,” Blankstein paused, “but I had a number of children who did, and I appreciate how important the Camp is.”

For many Jewish Winnipeggers, BB Camp is a place of fond memories and life-long lessons — a place to be yourself and to push boundaries.

For Carol McArton, this was the case. McArton, who attended BB Camp both as a camper and staff, says her love for the wilderness was instilled in her through her years at BB Camp. While skills and lessons are key takeaways from summers spent at BB Camp, friendship is another. McArton says some of her most important friendships were those she made at Camp. “Since I went to a public school, most of my Jewish friends came from my camping days,” explains McArton. “BB Camp was a way that brought us all together.”

In Winnipeg’s diverse Jewish community, many campers come from different financial, social, and religious backgrounds. One of the pillars of the Capital Campaign aims to ensure that every Jewish camper has the opportunity to go to BB Camp, regardless of their struggles.

Now, more than ever, McArton thinks that attending summer camp should be of high importance. “These days, everyone is busy, busy, busy,” McArton says. “It is so important that children are reminded to take a breath, and to appreciate their natural world and then hopefully, take better care of it,” McArton also noted, “my husband Barry was also in agreement of supporting the Campaign because he understand what a big part of my life BB (Camp) was/is and is very supportive of me”.

McArton is one of Marjorie and Morley’s five children. While a few of her siblings attended Camp on and off, she and her youngest brother Max stuck with it the longest. Her admiration for BB Camp stemmed from her father’s involvement with the Camp. “He was always a part of the Camp,” says McArton.

Morley, who was on the camp board for several years, was the lead designer for the Olam Gadol in the early 60’s.

The Olam Gadol, which in Hebrew means “great or large world”, serves as BB Camp’s recreation hall, where daily camp-wide programs and activities take place. The building, which has served as the focal point for all gatherings for generations of campers was recently assessed by a team of engineers and it was determined that the building will need to be reconstructed. A new building will be designed and built in keeping with Morley’s design philosophy.

“This is a remarkable contribution, it allows the Board to focus on improvements at BB Camp to enhance the camp experience and ensure we offer a safe and operational facility,” noted Carrie Shenkarow, CoChair, along with Murray Gilfix of the Capital Campaign.

“On behalf of the Camp, we give our heartfelt thanks to Marjorie and Morley z,l, Carol and Barry and Max for their ongoing support and generous donation.” BB Camp hopes to keep the campaign momentum going. If you are interested in donating or learning further about the Campaign, visit or contact the BB Camp Office at 204.477.7512.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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