Ohio's Leafy Oaks: The Campground That Cares
Because Independence Day falls in the middle of the week this year, Leafy Oaks Campground near Clyde, Ohio, will celebrate the holiday two weekends in a row.
On Friday and Saturday this week, campers will celebrate by competing in a fishing derby, jumping in a bounce house, making giant bubbles, listening to live music and participating in a Charity Duck Race to benefit North Coast Cancer Center in Clyde, The News-Messenger, Fremont, reported.
The second Fourth of July weekend celebration, July 6 and 7, will include a carnival, inflatables, bubble painting, activities and live entertainment.
The Charity Duck Race is part of an ongoing campaign to help support the North Coast Cancer Center. The goal is to raise enough money to replace the center's chemotherapy chairs.
The idea was sparked after four campers were diagnosed with cancer last summer. One of them, Denise McCubbin, is a volunteer activity coordinator at the campground. Although her illness prevents her from organizing the events, she's the idea lady behind all the fun.
"There were four of us diagnosed last summer. We just lost one of them," McCubbin said.
Joan Faneuff, who owns the campground with her husband, Randy, was completely behind the idea to support the center. They have a 29-year-old daughter who survived childhood cancer.
"She was diagnosed at 4 and then again at 9," Faneuff said.
McCubbin and Faneuff have experienced the difficulty and boredom of sitting through chemotherapy.
"We know what it's like to sit there and wait," McCubbin said. "We would like to make it more comfortable."
The campers have raised about $1,500, but they have far to go to reach their goal. Events throughout the summer include bake sales, lollipop sales and a silent auction Oct. 6. Leafy Oaks is looking for businesses to donate merchandise, tickets or services for the auction.
Supporting the cancer center isn't the only community service the campers are involved in. They recently donated items for soldiers overseas.
"For those of us that camp here, we want to be known as the campground that cares," McCubbin said.
That jibes well with the campground's family atmosphere. When the Faneuffs bought the campground almost 10 years ago, it was known as a place to party. They made changes to make it more family-friendly.
"It used to be rowdy years ago. When we took over, we changed it," Faneuff said. "It's a family campground now. If we hear language, we let them know."
Future weekend events include Cow Appreciation Weekend, Science Weekend, Christmas in July Weekend and a 1950s Weekend with an old-fashioned soda fountain and sock hop.
Leafy Oaks Campground is at 6955 N. Ohio 101 in Clyde. For information or to make a donation to the charity auction, call (888) 680-7060 or (419) 639-2887. Information also can be found at www.leafyoaks.com.