To rekindle the memory of a beloved Long Beach legend, a friend sent children to camp – Press Telegram

Tommy Nerman, a close friend of the late and legendary Mary Thoits, wanted to do something to honor her memory.

Nerman knew Thoits loved helping children and sent a donation every year to Press-Telegram’s Send-a-Kid-to-Camp fund, established 22 years ago by Mary’s friend Tom Hennessy, a former newspaper columnist. , and Jean Bixby Smith. , President Emeritus of the Long Beach Community Foundation.

Thoits, the dynamic and fun creator of Long Beach City College’s popular graduate program, passed away earlier this year at age 97.

Nerman decided that a good way to honor his friend was to donate to this year’s camp fund in her memory.

“Mary has always been among the first to send a donation,” Nerman said. “She was very fond of the children and loved giving them the opportunity to spend time outside at camp.” The Press-Telegram asks readers to send donations to send children for a week to mountain camps run by the 5 major youth organizations: YMCA of Greater Long Beach, Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach, Camp Fire Angeles , Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. An anonymous donor said he would contribute an additional $ 25,000 if readers matched that amount with their collective donations between June 13 and the campaign ends on July 4.

Nerman said he knew Thoits would urge readers to donate now to help reach the $ 25,000 goal.

Your dollars will help send more children to a unique mountain camp experience. Keep in mind that it takes an average of $ 450 to send a youth to camp for a week.

  • Mary Thoits parachutes on her 85th birthday. (Courtesy photo)

  • Mary Thoits, former director of the Lifelong Graduate Studies program at Long Beach City College, dons an old-fashioned costume. (Courtesy photo)

If you want to donate

Online donations are preferred and can be submitted at You can also send a check payable to: Long Beach Community Foundation (with Send-a-Kid-to-Camp in note), 400 Oceangate, Suite 800, Long Beach, CA 90802.

La Presse-Télégramme, the Community Foundation and youth organizations thank you in advance for making a difference in the lives of many children and for remembering Mary Thoits.

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