BILLINGS, Mont. — Care Camps, an initiative of Kampgrounds of America franchise owners to raise money to send kids with cancer to a special camp one week each year, released its annual report this week.
In 2016, the group provided financial support to 129 oncology camps by disbursing $1.5 million in operating and capital grants. In fact, the group has raised more than $10 million since the inception of Care Camps 32 years ago.
“As the number of children diagnosed with cancer continues to grow, the need to fund oncology camps grows, too,” said Wade Elliott, chair of Care Camps. “In 2016, we received requests from 129 camps for almost $2 million in operating and capital grands. Sadly, there is a gap between the amount requested and the amount we provided of $1.5 million — an approximate 25 percent shortfall of the necessary funding.”
Donations from America and Canadian supporters were up 13 percent in 2016. A total of $1.15 million was donated through various activities involving campgrounds and marketing, compared to $1.01 million raised in 2015.
An additional $311,296 was raised through sales of the KOA Value Kard, which was up from $304,458 raised in 2015.
Total operating expenses were $305,946 in 2016, compared to $249,579 required in 2015, of which the bulk of the difference was used to launch a direct mail campaign in 2016.
It costs an average of $1,500 for each child to participate in camp. That cost includes shelter and meals as well as a medical staff to oversee the treatment of children during camp. The expenses also include things like crafts, lifeguards and transportation.
Care Camps contribution to the oncology camps do not exceed 10 percent of any camp’s annual budget to help ensure the camps do not become dependent upon Care Camps as the sole source of funding, the report noted.
The report highlighted the efforts of several notable fundraisers, including:
- Okeechobee KOA, which raised $27,414 in 2016 to bring its cumulative gift to $308,000.
- KOA Company Owned Properties raised $212,443 through various activities.
- Southeast Publications donated $36,000 last year to bring its cumulative gift to $686,000. The company also donates in-kind services.
- Cardinal KOA raised $25,903 for an 11-year total of $150,000.
- Sugarloaf Key/Key West KOA raised $51,818 for a 10-year total of $217,000.
- KEI Kampground Enterprises donated $18,782.
- AGS, a division of Texas Advertising, donated $18,750 in cash plus in-kind services support.
- The KOA Value Kard Rewards Program raised $306,233 for a cumulative total of $780,000.
- Auto Marine raised $13,000 to push its cumulative total to $62,000.
- KOA Recreational Adventure Company raised $34,434.
- Howard and Cyndy Livingston, along with his Mile Market 24 band, along with Marc and Tammy Hollander and their entire Southernmost Coconut Castaways organization raised $128,650 for a six-year cumulative total of $630,000. They were assisted by Cindy Leone and her crew at Block 4 Venture Out.
“Our goal continues to become a national charity, with an extra personal touch,” said Elliott. “Our 2017 goal is to work with KOA owners, KOA Inc., our vendors, industry partners and donors to increase our visibility and funding to ensure every child with cancer who wants to attend camp will be able to do so at no cost to their already financially-burdened families.”
SOURCE: Care Camps annual report