Stephanie's Heroes: Camp Kesem at UVa

By: Stephanie Satchell Email
By: Stephanie Satchell Email

March 24, 2014

A special summer camp is helping children cope with cancer. Camp Kesem at the University of Virginia is for children and teens whose parents have cancer, are in remission or have succumbed to the disease. In this week's Stephanie's heroes, CBS19's Stephanie Satchell is featuring some of the organizers and has more on a big fundraiser coming up to benefit Camp Kesem.

Kids coming to Camp Kesem at UVa. can expect to find friendship, fun and relaxation.

In August, they get to spend a week just being kids and not having to think about their mom or dad having cancer.

"I think it's learning that they're not alone and they have kids the same age because at school you may not find that someone who understands what you're going through but you know at camp everyone essentially has been where you've been," said Nikki Tracy, Co Director, Camp Kesem.

Camp Kesem is free for campers to attend. That's why it's so important for organizers to have fundraisers all year long.
One of the biggest fundraisers is happening at the Paramount Theater on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville on Saturday March 29th.

"The goal of this night is that we're going to send 20 campers to camp. That equals about $10,000. So we are trying to make sure that we raise enough money to send campers to camp this summer and without this event we could not have camp happen," said Mark Burka, Event Planner, Make the Magic/Camp Kesem.

Guests at the Make the Magic event will enter on a red carpet and take pictures under the marquee. There will also be a host of other events inside like a silent auction and balloon game where guests can enter to win gift cards to local eateries.

According to organizers, meeting their fundraising goal at the event will mean the world to future campers. That's because it will give them a chance to actually have fun and take their minds off of what's going on at home.

"They're going through the hardest things we couldn't even imagine going through as a child and yet they're coming to camp and they're having fun. They're being kids and it's a really empowering experience for us as well to see them go through that," said Alison Celello.

The Make the Magic event will be held on Saturday March 29th at the Paramount Theater from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
They're hoping to raise $60,000 this year.

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