Over 500 children attended camp this summer using a Charlotte Observer Summer Camp Fund scholarship. This is the Summer Camp Fund’s ninth year and we have sent more than 3,000 children to camp, thanks to the generosity of our readers.
We set a goal to raise $215,000 this year and we achieved that goal. Fred Whitfield, president of the Charlotte Hornets, was our honorary chairman. He reached out to the Hornets fans and season-ticket holders to encourage participation, and his commitment and energy helped make this another successful campaign. We had more than 988 donors this year.
As the Summer Camp Fund has matured, so has our network of camps. In addition to the outdoors experience, we look for camps with strong literacy programming and water safety and swimming instruction. This year we partnered with a diverse group of 33 top-caliber camps.
Our camp stories published in print and online are not only annual reader favorites, but the coverage helps the camps we support. This feedback came from the Boy Scouts: “After the Charlotte Observer’s human interest story on Jordan Strayhorn from Troop 25, we have received several inquiries to expand our program for at-risk youth and are currently in the process of partnering with the Uproar Leadership Academy, the Renaissance West Community Initiative and the Harvest Center.”
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Trusted Parents camp also benefited from the coverage. It reported: “We had an increase of interest from parents who did not know there was a special needs camp such as ours. They expressed that had they known about our camp in advance, they would have registered their child.”
As another summer comes to an end, we believe our campers will begin the school year with great memories, increased confidence and new knowledge. They have spent time in the great outdoors building new friendships and discovering new opportunities. Thank you to all who made this life-changing experience possible for more than 500 deserving children!
Ann Caulkins is president and publisher of The Charlotte Observer.