A trailblazer in the cause of equal opportunity, Cathy McFarland Harvey has been instrumental in the creation and growth of Frost Valley’s various partnerships with organizations in Newark. Through her leadership at the Victoria Foundation and as a Frost Valley trustee, Cathy is a tireless advocate for the once-radical idea that two weeks of summer camp for children from families struggling with poverty can have long-lasting effects on the child, the family, and society as a whole.
In 1972 Cathy and Howard Quirk, then executive director of the Victoria Foundation, received a letter from Halbe Brown, who was at that time in his sixth year as executive director of Frost Valley YMCA. The letter prompted Cathy, whose son had attended Camp Wawayanda, and Howard to spend a weekend witnessing firsthand the magic of camp in session. It didn’t take long for them to conclude: they needed to get kids from Newark up to Frost Valley.
During an early visit, several boys from a Newark school with which Cathy was involved broke into the camp store and stole a box of Frost Valley sweatshirts. Cathy quickly observed that Frost Valley’s approach to “discipline” was one of character development rather than character diminishing. Thus, Frost Valley and the Victoria Foundation soon created three-way relationships with Newark agencies and organizations that in turn worked closely with the families to get their children to camp.
In 1989, Cathy became CEO of the Victoria Foundation and directed the foundation magnificently for eighteen years. The partnership model she and Howard initiated in the early 1970s continues today. Cathy doubts that it would have succeeded without Frost Valley as a partner. For her advocacy of families in need of support and encouragement and for so much more, the Board of Trustees gladly and unanimously inducted Cathy McFarland Harvey into the Frost Valley Hall of Fame.