Greenwich Boys & Girls Club “Torch Club” Tasty Tuesday Proceeds Result in Beach Access Mat at Byram Park

Written by Jennifer Tomaj

On Monday Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich Torch Club advisors Camryn Ferrara and Ashley Culver, gathered with club members, Parks & Rec director Joe Siciliano and First Selectman Fred Camillo to mark the occasion of a newly donated access mats at Byram Park’s beach.

The access mats in Byram, like those donated by the Greenwich Lions Club at Tod’s Point, make it possible for people with limited mobility to access the water.

The goal of the community building project was accomplished through a 5-week fundraiser called “Tasty Tuesdays” where 10 local restaurants donated a percentage of their proceeds to the Torch Club. 

Jasmine Scott, the vice president of the Torch club, explained the Tasty Tuesdays effort and where proceeds were distributed.

Jasmine Scott flanked by Torch Club advisors Ashley Culver and Camryn Ferrara. June 28, 2021
Flanking the vinyl access mat at the beach at Byram Park are Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich Torch Club members with their club advisors Camryn Ferrara and Ashley Culver, as well as Parks & Rec director Joe Siciliano and Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo, Monday, June 28, 2021

“We did different things with the money that we raised. Of course we did the mats,” she said with a nod to the newly installed access mats. “But we also donated puzzles and a big Connect 4 to senior homes, such as the Nathaniel Witherell. We also did a raffle.” 

The biggest goal of the Torch Club’s donation was to make a difference in the lives of senior citizens in the community. 

“It’s a full circle of giving,” said Ferrara adding, “the community supports the restaurants. The restaurants support us. And now we use the proceeds donated to help the community out.”

The proceeds from Tasty Tuesday totaled about $3,500, and the Torch Club had the money in the budget to match that amount in order to make their main project possible.

The access mat begins in a path through the parks lawn descending to the sandy beach. The mat is ideal for wheelchair access to the water.

“I think this could be a nice tradition that we could continue next year because we wish we got more restaurants involved,” Ferrara added. “But it was only our first year doing it. So next year we are going to definitely go bigger.”

In the beginning of the event, the Torch Club members lined up along the access mat as Ferrara gave shared remarks with the gathered club members to commemorate their hard work that made possible the installation of the grass mat and access mat.

Ferrara also thanked other community members who helped along the way to make the gift possible, including Joe Sicilano, and Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camllio. He also thanked Parks & Rec operations manager Craig Whitcomb for his team’s effort in installing the access mat as quickly as they did.

Previously the Greenwich Lions Club donated beach access mats at Tod’s Point. Fred Camillo, who saluted the Torch Club, said he hoped the next beach to have an access mat would be Island Beach.

“I salute the Torch Club, Camryn Ferrara and Ashley Culver, and all the town merchants and citizens who chipped in to provide easier access for all our citizens, like we have at Greenwich Point,” he said.

“We want to make sure that every park and every beach has the access, and that everybody who wants to access the water has the ability to do that,” he added. “This is another step in the right direction. We’re very proud, but we’re also focused on getting this done all over.”

Beach access mat was in good use on Saturday, June 22, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager
At Tod’s Point, the 6-foot wide mat is made of vinyl connects from the Susie Baker Pavilion to the waterline. Saturday, June 22, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager