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Camp director leaving Timber Pointe for Texas

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BLOOMINGTON — Kurt Podeszwa — who has overseen programs and services for thousands of campers as director of Easter Seals' Timber Pointe Outdoor Conference Center — is leaving to direct a larger facility in Texas.

"Timber Pointe has a big place in my heart," Podeszwa said Wednesday.

His last day at Timber Pointe, at Lake Bloomington, will be Friday. His first day at Camp For All, a facility for campers with special needs near Burton, Texas, will be Monday.

Timber Pointe provides camping experiences for a variety of children and adults with disabilities from throughout Illinois.

In addition to Easter Seals' camps for people with physical and developmental disabilities, other camps include Camp Limberlost for at-risk youth and Camp COCO for children with cancer.

Timber Pointe also hosts camps for team building, including some for State Farm Insurance Cos.' employees and for Illinois State University residence assistants.

In Podeszwa's first year at Timber Pointe in 2000, the camp provided programs for 800 campers. In summer 2005, that was up to 1,700 campers from throughout Illinois.

Podeszwa credited his staff of five full-time employees, three part-time employees and summer help. They oversee programs as well as the 170-acre camp, which includes 30 buildings.

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In addition, construction of The Lodge at Timber Pointe began in September and should be completed in September 2006, Podeszwa said.

Julie Matthews, Easter Seals of Peoria-Bloomington executive vice president of programs, said a new camp director will be selected soon, but she will miss Podeszwa.

"Kurt's contributions have been significant," she said.

"Our numbers have grown in large part because of his ability to bring people together. I have been in this business for 30 years and I rarely have met someone so enthusiastic, with such a positive attitude, who sees strengths in everyone."

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