Meadville KOA Auction Aids Burned Campers
The seasonal campers at Meadville KOA Campground in Pennsylvania hosted a benefit blind auction and themed basket raffle on Saturday (June 22) for a family injured in a tiki torch explosion.
The seasonal campers, through blind auction item donations and themed basket raffles, raised $1,528, said Robyn Chilson, owner of Meadville KOA, where the fundraisers took place.
Earlier this spring, the seasonal camping family purchased some large bowl-shaped tiki torches at a local discount store. On May 19, the lady went to blow the tiki torch out, and it exploded in her face and the resulting fireball caught her shorts on fire. She fell to the ground and started rolling around, and her husband, seeing what had just transpired, tore her burning clothing off, and then jumped on her, trying to extinguish the flames. Both parents were then evacuated by helicopter to West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh, where the wife had to undergo two different skin graft surgeries.
"This benefit was the work of their friends and other seasonal camping families at Meadville KOA," said Chilson. "All of the blind auction items and themed baskets were donations from friends, fellow campers, local businesses, and campground vendors. All proceeds went to the injured family to help offset their expenses during their time of need."
The seasonal campers are planning additional benefits, including a sloppy Joe dinner July 2 for all Meadville KOA campers. At $2.50 per person, the dinner includes a sloppy Joe sandwich, chips and drink. In addition, they are hosting a benefit bake sale July 6 at 9:30 a.m. Again, 100% of all proceeds of the dinner and the bake sale will go directly to the injured family, said Chilson.
“We would have never thought that this little auction could raise that kind of money," said owner Tim Chilson. "It just goes to show you what people can do when they are needed at a time like this and pull together. We turned it into a fun event and everyone, including many of our weekend campers that weekend, donated very generously! We were thrilled, and can’t thank them enough for the love and support they’ve shown this family in their time of need.
"It is our honor to serve this great community of campers, and we’re very lucky to have so many wonderful and generous camping families who camp with us," he added. "We truly thank them from the bottom of our hearts, and we’re sure the Frick family is overwhelmed by the out pouring of love and support they’re receiving.”