October 1, 2014
From coast to coast, donated vehicles are raising money for KOA Care Camps, and program founder Barry Stern is excited at the possibilities for growth.
“I’m more enthused than I’ve ever been,” said Stern, who owns the Fort Pierce/Port St. Lucie KOA and launched the fundraising program in 2013
Stern said all the credit for the donations goes to the generous givers and the KOA campgrounds that help get the word out. Donated cars, RVs, motorcycles, boats and trailers are sold in online or live auctions. Some $11,000 was raised last year, and auction proceeds should come close to hitting that mark again, he said.
KOA managers triggered most of the tax-deductible donations this year, he said. “It is important for them to let their campers know about this program.”
For example, Stern credited Stephani and Phil Boswell, owners of the Lynchburg NW/Blue Ridge Parkway KOA Campground in Monroe, Va., with helping arrange the donation of two RVs.
One RV was parked in their KOA storage lot. The owner said it had outlived its usefulness, but he didn’t want to go to the trouble of selling it. The Boswells told him about the donation program, Stephani said, and soon the RV was sold, with proceeds going to help send kids with cancer to camp.
The owner of the second RV knew about the program and decided to donate his camper when it broke down during a stay at the Boswell’s campground, Stephani said.
Stern said a travel trailer parked in the woods near Lake Hughes, Calif., was recently donated. Sherri Takaki and James Maxwell, from the staff at the Acton/Los Angeles North KOA, drove 30 miles to pick it up.
He also called Paul and Maurine Watson his “heroes” for parting with a nice 37-foot boat. He said the boat was “their baby,” but the Fort Myers, Fla., couple decided to donate it to help send more kids to camp.
Potential donors can learn more about the donation program at koaautodonations.org or at 1-888-320-1414. You will be asked to fill out a donation form. Then a donation coordinator will contact you. Most running cars, trucks, boats, RVs and aircraft are accepted, along with other equipment and real estate.
“It is an easy and extra way to get needed revenues,” Stern said. “These donations will help a lot of kids.”