Local groups to save youth cancer camp - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Local groups to save youth cancer camp

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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013 12:00 am

Area groups are teaming up to save Camp Goodtimes.

The American Cancer Society earlier this year said it needed to direct funds toward its key mission of cancer research rather than fund such camps for kids with cancer, including the one along the Spokane River at Ross Point Bible Camp in Post Falls.

Following the announcement, a group of local individuals and organizations have teamed up to ensure that camp will continue for local children fighting cancer in 2014 and beyond.

The groups include: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane, YMCA of the Inland Northwest, Coaches vs. Cancer (Mark and Marcy Few) and other community leaders. The monetary commitments, services and contributions will go a long way toward ensuring that the local camp will continue.

Since its inception in 2002, Coaches vs. Cancer has raised over $1 million for the local camp and intends to continue raising the much-needed funds moving forward.

"We have seen the positive effects that this camp has had on children in their fight against cancer, both during and after treatments. The effect has been huge. This group is stepping up to make sure that local kids fighting cancer get to continue to go to camp," said Marcy Few, co-chair of Coaches vs. Cancer-Spokane. "We are committed to making sure that this special week of camp continues for these kids in our region."

The Ronald McDonald House in Spokane has seen the children staying at their House benefit directly from these experiences.

"We have served families and children with cancer in our region for many years. These children have attended camp and their experience was instrumental during their battle with cancer," said Mike Forness, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane. "Ronald McDonald House Charities is 100 percent supportive of this collaboration and is willing to take whatever steps necessary to sustain a camp for children battling cancer in our region. "

The YMCA also looks forward to the chance to collaborate with like-minded organizations to ensure camp for years to come.

"The opportunity to be a part of a collaboration that will ensure that kids with cancer continue to have summer camp opportunities is a win-win for our community and speaks volumes about the collaborative spirit that exists among community leaders and organizations," said Steve Tammaro, president/CEO of the YMCA of the Inland Northwest.

To contribute to the "Campaign for Camp" and ensure that camp can continue for years to come, start by purchasing tickets and join the team for "An Evening with Coaches vs. Cancer Featuring Dana Carvey" on Saturday. The event takes place at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox and will include a paddle raise benefiting camp in 2014. Funds raised will go directly to camp operating funds.

Tickets can be purchased at all TicketsWest outlets and ticketswest.com.

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