The decade-long fundraising campaign has increased urgency this year due to a February flood that destroyed two 30-bed cabins
Campgrounds are the places where families make wonderful memories to last a lifetime.
But many independent campgrounds affiliated with CampNewYork.com also host fundraising events to support Camp Good Days, a Mendon, N.Y.-based nonprofit organization that offers free camps, special activities and other services for children suffering from cancer. Special camps are also available for adults with specific conditions, such as women’s oncology camps and prostate cancer camps for men.
This year, many of the campgrounds affiliated with CampNewYork.com are hoping to set new fundraising records, which would enable them to state that they have collectively raised $1 million for Camp Good Days over the past decade. Stepped up donations are needed not only to support Camp Good Days’ ongoing operations, but to help rebuild two cabins with 60 beds between them that were destroyed by floods in February.
“There was so much damage that we had to tear the cabins down,” said James R. McCauley, Jr., Camp Good Days’ director of community initiatives. “Now we have to rebuild them in another location on our property as soon as logistically feasible.”
While Camp Good Days had insurance on the cabins, the cost of replacing them is higher than expected, hence the need for additional donations, McCauley said.
Matt Anderson, 2nd vice chair of Campground Owners of New York (CONY), which hosts CampNewYork.com, said he hoped that the fundraising initiatives launched by participating campgrounds would inspire others, both inside and outside the campground industry, to support Camp Good Days’ efforts.
“We’re grateful for the financial support that many New York campground operators have provided to Camp Good Days over the past decade,” Anderson said. “We’re hoping than even more join us this year and help us provide Camp Good Days with the financial resources they need as they work to rebuild two cabins that are critically needed by children suffering from cancer.”
Anderson himself is so supportive of Camp Good Days’ mission that he volunteers on their board of directors in addition to serving on CONY’s board. While his own son, Noah, does not suffer from cancer, he was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease at age 4, which required him to be hospitalized and to undergo costly treatments, all of which helped Anderson to develop a special empathy for parents of children with cancer.
Many other campground owners across New York have similar compassion for children who suffer from cancer and their families, which has led them to organize annual fundraising events to support Camp Good Days.
Anderson, whose family owns Camp Chautauqua in Stow, said the park hosts an annual auction with donated items that generates tens of thousands of dollars for Camp Good Days.
“We have people not only from New York, but from surrounding states that come every year to support our auctions for Camp Good Days,” Anderson said, adding, “Ultimately, the money we raise for Camp Good Days is a testament to the quality of people we have staying at our parks.”
Camp Chautauqua’s next auction for Camp Good Days will be Saturday, August 20.
Other New York campgrounds have fundraising events throughout the summer to support Camp Good Days.
“We dedicate all of our 50/50 raffles to Camp Good Days and Special Times,” said John Tinelli, who owns Triple R Camping Resort and Trailer Sales in Franklinville with his wife, Jennifer.“We have customers that camp here at Triple R because of our support for Camp Good Days,” Tinelli said, adding, “There is no better cause than to help a child through as terrifying an experience as cancer. Now, with the camp also helping families including adults to get through cancer, there is all the more reason to support this fine organization. What’s really neat is when a customer comes up and introduces their child to us that went to Camp Good Days. There is no feeling like that. There are no words.”
Since they started supporting Camp Good Days in 2012, campgrounds affiliated with CampNewYork.com have raised more than $961,000 to support the Mendon-based nonprofit organization, which provides all of its programs free of charge. For more information about Camp Good Days and Special Times, please visit its website at https://www.campgooddays.org/.
About Campground Owners of New York: Campground Owners of New York is the trade association that represents independent campgrounds and RV parks in New York. Based in Pittsford, CONY provides education, government affairs and marketing services for campgrounds, including hosting CampNewYork.com, a travel planning website, and publishing a printed directory of New York campgrounds.