While playing basketball last year, Camden native Tyheem Baker overheard a young kid saying he planned to return to the city and open a basketball camp, if he ever struck it big. That statement immediately got the gears grinding in Baker's brain to take action.

What's so great about the Garden State? Let us know using the form at the end of this story!


Along with fellow Camdenite Jrue Neal, the duo organized an event, The Inaugural Rebirth of Camden Charity Basketball Classic, which was held this past July.

The game featured "Legends vs. Rising Stars," skills competitions, and music from all generations of Camden greatness.

Proceeds from the event went to paying for backpacks and school supplies for city children, as well as to local shelters. With the success of the game in the books, the group decided to form a full-fledged charity. The Rebirth of Camden Foundation was formed.

The mission, says Media Director Sha Ron Thomas, is "to just let the youth see that there are other things, there are other avenues."

With so much negativity focused on crime within Camden, the group is striving to give back and highlight the great parts of the city and people from the city, helping kids realize that they can become leaders for tomorrow.

"And we're trying to give them the tools they need to succeed to do that," she said.

The charity basketball is set to become a yearly summer fixture, but the foundation has many exciting things planned for 2103. One of the main initiatives is setting up an after-school program that will offer homework assistance, skill development, and peer mentoring. Thomas says, while the program is in the planning stages, they are working with Virtua Health System to get it up and running at the Camden division, sometime in the spring.

The Rebirth of Camden Foundation is only in its infancy, but they have made major strides to get the backing of passionate people from Camden, who have been successful and want to give back to their city.

"It's not that they don't look back on Camden, but they just didn't see opportunity," Baker explained, "whereas now we're presenting them with opportunity to come out and help us to donate funds."

You can find out more about this exciting charity by visiting their website.

More Good News

Cape May County Zoo

Funds will be raised for the Cape May County Zoo during the The Cape May County Zoo Society's annual fundraiser scheduled for January 26 in Avalon.

Funds raised during the event will support several initiatives including a project to expand the habitat of the zoo's snow leopards. A portion of the money will also be used for the zoo's Easter Tiger Salamander Conservation, a project that aims to collect, raise and repopulate salamanders back to the wild. For more information, visit them online.


In an effort to help New Jersey get back on its feet after Hurricane Sandy, QuickChek donated $110,569 to the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund run by First Lady Mary Pat Christie. Following Hurricane Sandy, more than 130 QuickCheck locations collected donations from customers and employees through in-store donations at all New Jersey and New York locations. "As New Jersey's convenience store, we embrace our neighbors and vow to do what we can to see our state rebound," said Dean Durling, QuickCheck President and CEO. To learn more about the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund, visit their website.