Jerry Dale’s first visit to a KOA Care Camp sponsored camp gave him a wild rollercoaster ride of emotions from tears from laughter to tears from pain surrounding childhood cancer. He soon realized that the fundraising that he did at his Manchester, Tenn. KOA campground was well worth the effort. That was seven years ago, and Jerry is now chairman of the KOA Care Camps board.
The children he met during his Care Camp visits always made the greatest impression, but Jerry was also impressed with all the volunteers he met. Almost all KOA Care Camps are volunteer staffed, and it isn’t uncommon for the medical staff to take vacation time from their full time assignments to volunteer during camp. They pitch in wherever they are needed whether it’s providing children with treatment or sweeping a floor, officiating a kickball game, or paddling a canoe across the lake.
There is a renewed fundraising effort underway, Jerry said. He hopes that the new marketing materials developed to tell the Care Camps story in 2013 and more support from the KOA Care Camps board will make it easier for KOA franchise owners to raise even more funds for Care Camps.
“If we take the time to tell KOA campers about this amazing cause, they want to give,” said Jerry.