By Cathy Harasta
The Texas Catholic
The 2,000 campers registered to attend The Pines Catholic Camp this summer will find a new log-cabin-style dining hall to serve them, thanks in part to The Catholic Foundation’s grant that was presented during the foundation’s Spring Grant Ceremony on May 3.
During the ceremony, hosted by The Notre Dame School of Dallas, the 130-acre camp in Big Sandy in East Texas received one of 19 grants that totaled $1,237,106 from The Catholic Foundation.
Each spring and fall, the foundation distributes grants to parishes, schools and non-profit entities that serve or are located in the Diocese at Dallas.
The 28-year-old camp serves thousands of young campers each summer and provides year-round programs for Catholics in the Diocese of Dallas, including environmental education and retreats.
The new 13,000-square-foot dining hall will expand services far beyond what the old 2,800-square-foot dining facility offered, said Ann Letteer, executive director of The Pines Catholic Camp.
“We are vastly improving,” she said. “We’d say that duct tape and baling wire kept our old dining hall together. This grant will help The Pines finish the new dining hall. The beauty of this log-cabin structure is magnificent.”
The old dining hall was demolished and construction began on the new building last August, Letteer said.
She said that she and camp officials were profoundly grateful to The Catholic Foundation for the grant, which will allow completion of the dining hall in time for the camp’s opening day on June 5.
The new hall, which overlooks the lake, seats 300 in its main room and has an overflow room with a capacity of 150, Letteer said.
“We have a waiting list of campers, and this will allow us to accommodate more campers,” she said. “It also will allow us to do programming for the Catholic high schools.
“To take it to this level is very, very exciting.”
Over the years, the camp received grants from The Catholic Foundation to winterize facilities, construct an outdoor pavilion and help with other improvements.
Matt Kramer, President and CEO of The Catholic Foundation, thanked the foundation’s trustees, committees and donors for their hard work and generosity.
The foundation, which was chartered in 1955, has provided more than $100 million in grants to schools, parishes and non-profit organizations over the past 40 years, he said.
“Through the generosity of the donors, we’re able to continue meeting the ever-changing physical and spiritual needs of the Catholic community,” Kramer said.
The foundation’s May 3 distribution included funding for building a new church for Good Shepherd Catholic Parish in Garland and for a new academic building for Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep.
The grants bestowed also will help five schools with tuition assistance; replace roofs on churches and other buildings at four parishes; aid with renovations of a chapel, and provide new pews, windows and restrooms for some recipients.
The foundation also awarded grants for technology and science lab upgrades, and Catholic Charities of Dallas received funds to support senior services at the Brady Center.
For a complete list of this year’s recipients of grants from The Catholic Foundation, pick up a print copy of the May 13 edition of The Texas Catholic.