October 14, 2013
People in Charlottesville had the opportunity to help children and their families with special medical needs attend camp -- and experience a bit of camp themselves.
The seventh annual Camp Holiday Trails Hope Grows Gala raised money for the camp on Saturday. The money provides scholarships for campers to attend.
Camp Holiday Trails is a camp for children with special medical needs. Among other services it provides, the camp has medical staff 24 hours a day.
The gala took place on Saturday night on the lower school campus of St. Anne's-Belfield School. About 120 people attended.
The event featured a camp theme with tie-dyed T-shirts, tables called cabins, family style dinner, a s'mores table, and counselors who led the whole room in a camp song. The night also featured a silent auction to help raise money.
Most of the parents cannot afford the actual cost of sending their child to camp, so most of the campers receive major scholarships. It costs the camp $2,500 for a two-week stay. The camp charges a family $125 minimum.
The goal of the gala is "to raise awareness, but also to make sure that nobody is turned away based on their ability to pay," said Tina LaRoche, the Executive Director of CHT. "We just believe every child deserves a positive camp experience."
In addition, to mark Camp Holiday Trails' 40th anniversary next year, the money will also go to help renovate cabins on the campgrounds.
The Nobles, a family who had come to Camp Holiday Trails for years, spoke of their experiences at the camp. The Nobles attended CHT because of types of hemophilia, a disorder where blood does not clot normally. CHT offers family camping and solo camping, so all members of the family -- a mom, dad, and four children have attended.
"They love us and we love them," said LaRoche.
Camp Holiday Trails has its Fall Open House on Saturday, November 2. If you're interested in volunteering, attending, or want to visit to see the camp, you can check out their website for times and address here.