Athlete’s legacy lives on at Scout’s Camp Carlson

Recently, the tennis team at Bristol Eastern High School made a donation to Girl Scout of America Camp Carlson in honor of a former player, Holly Getler, who passed away in 2007.

by KAITLYN NAPLES
The memory and legacy of a Bristol woman continues to live on five years after she lost her battle with Kidney Disease in 2007.
Holly Getler passed away at the age of 21. Yet her memory continues to be honored at Bristol’s Camp Carlson, a Girl Scout Camp of America, where she spent several years as a camp counselor. Getler was a student at Bristol Eastern High School, and was a member of the tennis team, band, and many other activities. After Holly passed away, the tennis team began fundraisers in her honor and memory that have allowed young girls to attend Camp Carlson who may not be able to afford to go otherwise.
Last week, the tennis team donated $450 to Camp Carlson in memory of Holly. The funds had been raised by current tennis team members as well as former tennis team members dating back to 1976. This isn’t the first time the team has donated in memory of Holly, who was an outstanding athlete and amazing individual, said Sarah Radl, who has been directly involved in the fundraising efforts and is a former tennis player.
“She was a huge part of the Bristol Eastern (High School) community, and I’m proud to have known her as a person and will never forget her and her amazing smile,” Radl said, adding that this year t-shirts were donated and sold for the fundraiser that reflected tennis teams from 1976 to 2012.
Tennis coach Tom Chauvin said he taught Holly in the classroom and coached her on the tennis court. He said she was the kind of student who was always looking for ways to do better.
“The drive and courage she had will always stay with me,” Chauvin said.
Holly’s sister Maggie and her father Dan attended the check presentation, and said Holly was a great role model, daughter, and sister.
“She was always there,” Maggie said.
Camp Carlson Director Liz Lee said the impact Holly had on the campers and others at camp is never forgotten. Lee said Holly would dress up as a superhero each summer, and the camp continues to have a “super hero day.”
“Every small act that we do makes a huge impact on these girls,” Lee said, after she read a letter from a parent whose child was able to attend Camp Carlson because of donations. She added campers still remember Holly, who she said made so many positive impacts on them.
A family friend, Lani O’Conner, said Holly always had a positive impact on everyone she came in contact with.
Database administrator for fund development for the Girl Scouts of America, Erin O’Meara, said Holly “always had such a great spirit and positive attitude about her. She was one of the most genuine people I ever met.”
Camp Carlson is a day camp for girls entering grades 1 through 12, and is located on Willis Street in Bristol. Anyone interested in donating to the camp in honor of Holly Getler can send payments to Girl Scouts of America, earmarked Camp Carlson Holly Getler, to 340 Washington St., Hartford, CT 06106.
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