Bill Bruce

Port Washington/ Manhasset/Glen Cove Campus Life, '87-'91

I now live and work in New York City, but I was born and raised in Port Washington, New York and was a very active member of the Port Washington/Manhasset/Glen Cove Club from 1987 to 1991.  This was such an integral part of my high school years that I honestly cannot begin to imagine what my life would have been like otherwise.  Throughout this personally challenging time in my life, my connection to my Campus Life club and my church youth group were together, my main connection to God. At the time, I had no idea how deeply the Campus Life staff; people like Jack Crabtree, David Kelleher, Steve Grace, Gary DeSimone, Peter Weisgerber, Dave Dwyer and countless others that placed within me the core life values and principles that over my life, I am still learning to develop.

More than any other activity, I loved the bike trips.  I learned important life lessons about teamwork; everyone is entitled to more than one bad day; and even though it really hurts, keep pedaling.  I learned lessons of triumph and loss; heartbreak; and the value of more than a friend, but a group of friends during some of my darkest hours.

It was many years later that through a series of small steps, I had walked far from God that in my despair, and was too afraid to come back to church or face God with the life that I was living, I was reminded of a gentleman that I so deeply admired, and found Jack Crabtree’s email address on the Long Island Youth For Christ website that I decided that even though I was too afraid to talk to God, I could talk to Jack.  Although I was long since left my Campus Life Days behind, my name, like so many others, was still on Jack’s VIP list.  I once again felt the love and acceptance that although I didn’t make an immediate turn around, Jack saw it worth his while to plant a seed of hope and love in me that eventually led to my reconciliation with God.I got married in 2001 and when my wife and I needed a church family, it was a good friend from Campus Life that reached out and connected us to our current church where we have been so incredibly blessed and continue to serve in various aspects for the past eight years.  I never cease to be amazed at the depth and reach of God and the possibilities that abound for those that wait on God.  I am deeply grateful for the many years of sacrifice that Jack and Becky Crabtree have made and for all of the many unseen sacrifices they and others have made for so many years.   I am so thankful for the many people that I had the honor of knowing even though I’ve lost touch with so many people over the years..