Below are some of the stories you may have missed if you did not see our mailed newsletter.  We apologize if you are receiving the same news twice! Enjoy reading some of our summer news! 


 Newsletter of The Up Center
(Formerly Child & Family Services of Eastern Virginia)                                                     Summer 2010
In This Issue
Get Out Your Books
More Stair Climbing
Fundraising Champs
Summer at Camp Horizon
What's Up?
The Up Center has a new website. Visit the site and let us know what you think.
93 cents of every dollar donated to The Up Center went directly to program services this past fiscal year.
We also have added a new Facebook page. Click "like" to follow our latest agency events & news. 
Find us on Facebook
Mentoring Changes Lives
Player & Janice enjoy a Team Up outing on the American Rover.
Player and Janice enjoy an outing on the Rover.
By the time this past spring rolled around, Player Butler and her 14-year-old mentee Janice Rockwell had a goal in mind. The pair, who were matched by The Up Center last summer, wanted to raise money. The plan was to have Janice attend a residential camp that Ms. Butler herself had once attended.

"I knew the camp would be a tremendously positive place for Janice to be," Ms. Butler says. "I also wanted her to be at a place where she could be a typical 14-year-old and experience things she would not normally experience."
Ms. Butler was able to secure a partial camp scholarship for Janice, but they were still $1000 short. The two got to work. They held a car wash, sold baked goods and lemonade and cleaned up trash for donations. When they were still short, The Up Center staff and board members personally chipped in the remaining money needed.

Ms. Butler says this type of support from The Up Center staff has helped her overcome hurdles as she has learned to be a positive mentor.
"The agency staff has been a godsend," she says. "When I wasn't sure how to handle a situation, they would walk me through it."

All the work has paid off for both of them. Ms. Butler says Janice normally does not express her feelings. However, sometime after arriving at camp, Janice sent a 2 page letter that Ms. Butler says she had trouble reading since her eyes were full of tears. It read in part:
"All my counselors tell me how lucky I am to have you as a mentor, but trust me, I knew that. I really want to thank you for everything. I don't know if you know it, but you've changed my life in many ways. You are such a good person. You're always putting others' thoughts and feelings before yours. And I know you've probably changed more people's lives than just mine. So thank you so so so much.
Love you & miss you, Janice"

If you would like to change lives, including your own, by becoming a mentor in the Team Up program, please call 757-397-2121 ext. 302 or email
Donate Your Books

Juanita Rivera turned her life around at Spotlight Books and is now a supervisor for the program.
Step Up!
Our Spotlight Books program needs your help. Our book inventory is running low, so we need donations of more high quality books to keep our job training program going. The books are sold online to fund our training program, which helps homeless and low income adults learn job skills, such as data entry, warehousing and shipping.

To encourage donations, we are launching a corporate book drive as a United Way Day of Caring project. We will have bins ready, beginning on September 1, for companies interested in collecting books. We also will hold a public book drive on Saturday, September 25 and are looking for organizations that may be able to assist with that effort. If you think you can help, please contact Christine Agbuya at or 757-623-1119. Thank you for helping us provide a pathway out of poverty to adults in need and their families!

Next Step: Plan for More Stair Climbing
Step Up!The Up Center's stair climbing event in the spring brought out hundreds of people who climbed the 25 flights of stairs in Dominion Tower once, twice or four times. Some climbers raced, and some climbers strolled up the stairs, but everyone gave their all to make it a very successful event. In the end, Step Up raised $75,000 to benefit programs that serve nearly 10,000 people in Hampton Roads. So now, we are getting ready to do it again next year! We will again offer competitive and noncompetitive options in several categories, including military, corporate and youth, and we will have other activities in store, so save the date.
Step Up for the Up Center
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Dominion Tower, Norfolk
Registration Available Soon

Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim & Riptide enjoy the opening ceremonies.

Step Up!
Foster Care clinician Jennifer Pope was the top female finisher in the 100 story climb.
Step Up!
Ward Parsons, a member of the winning military team MSRT1, celebrates completing the first 25 stories in the 100 story climb.
Step Up!
"Great event, I am very excited to
attend next year!!!" -Step Up Participant
Fundraising Champions Are Rewarded
Bank of America volunteers and climbers came out in full force for our Step Up event including Monica Yancey, Miko Kim, Tina Conroy, Kayla Sawyer and Nola Sawyer.
Step Up!

Our top fundraisers in our Step Up for The Up Center stair climbing event enjoyed some wonderful prizes for their hard work. Bank of America overtook its challengers to take first place in the team competition. The bank's employees got to watch a Tides' game from the comfort of a corporate box as their prize. In second place was Norfolk Karate Academy, which received a group trip on the American Rover. Our individual fundraisers all received hotel stays in and around the Washington, D.C. area that were donated by Sheraton Hotels. Those top three finishers were:
1. Lisa Marie Massato
2. Andria McClellan
3. Michele Hessel
Camp Horizon is in Full Swing for the Summer 
Matthew (above) and Brandon (below) enjoy taking part in art classes at Camp Horizon.
Camper enjoys his day

More than 100 campers with disabilities have signed up to attend a week or more of  summer fun at The Up Center's Camp Horizon. The campers are enjoying activities on the grounds of Virginia Wesleyan College including art, music, games and swimming.
They also are going on community trips and enjoying visits from guest entertainers. During one visit to Virginia Beach's new Grommet Island Park, the park's developer requested a photo of the campers for the park's website.
Camper enjoys his day
This event was one highlight of the week for campers who signed up for the popular overnight camp option. This option allows people with disabilities to stay on campus for the week, providing a great experience for campers while also giving their caregivers a much-needed break.

The Up Center's camp program has been offered for decades, and it is a service that is provided in addition to various other programs for people with disabilities, including behavioral consultations and a Family Life program that enables people with disabilities to live in family homes instead of institutions.
 (The Virginian-Pilot also did a story and video about the camp. Click here to read the piece or watch the video).