Campers Help KOA Raise $250,000
Donations from KOA campers helped Kampgrounds of America (KOA) set a record of $250,000 in charity collections during its annual Come Camp Care With Us Weekend in May.
The annual event, now in its fifth year, is intended to encourage campers to begin enjoying time camping with their family and friends earlier in the spring season, as well as raise funds for KOA Care Camps for children with cancer, a network of 35 independent, specialized camps for children under treatment or in recovery from the disease. "This event is always a win for absolutely everyone," said KOA President and Chief Operating Officer Shane Ott in a news release. "It not only encourages campers to enjoy KOA campgrounds earlier than they may have planned, but it also supports this fantastic charity that allows these special kids to experience the joys of camping."
During its first year in 2004, the Come Camp Care With Us event raised $24,000 for the charity. "Our campers and KOA owners and staff have come a very long way in supporting this cause," Ott said. Ott was also recently appointed to the board of directors of Camp Mak-A-Dream, a KOA Care Camp in Missoula, Mont.
"Camps like ours absolutely rely on private funding from organizations such as KOA and the KOA Owners Association," said Jennifer Benton, director of marketing for Camp Mak-A-Dream. "It can cost well over $500 to send just one child to camp for a week. Thanks to contributions from KOA and its campers as well as other funding sources, we've been able to serve more than 4,300 children at our camp alone over the years."
During the May 9-10, 2008, Come Camp and Care With Us event, nearly 14,000 camping families stayed more than 32,000 nights at KOA campgrounds. In exchange for a paid night of camping on Friday night, each camping family received a free night's stay on Saturday. Campground owners held numerous special fundraising events during the weekend. The KOA Holdings board of directors matched all funds collected on franchised KOA Kampgrounds during the event.
Next year's Come Camp Care With Us Weekend event has already been set for Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9.