2014 Camp Champions Celebration
The fourth annual Camp Champions Celebration was held at the State Street Pavilion at Fenway Park on the evening of 11/21/14. 100% of the net proceeds raised went towards ACA New England's Campership fund.
Our fourth Camp Champions Celebration, honoring camp philanthropist and founder of Camp Sunshine Anna Gould, was a stunning success thanks to the combined efforts of Sponsors, donors, volunteers, guests, auction bidders, in-kind donors and the ACA New England board and staff. This major fundraiser for our ACA New England Campership Fund will provide camp experiences for a couple hundred financially qualified children in need at approximately 100 ACA Accredited Day and Overnight camps New England-wide this coming summer. We’re crunching numbers now and soon will be able to say how many camperships will be offered and how many of our camps will participate. In Summer 2014, as a result of last year’s Celebration, 217 children in need were offered day and overnight camp experiences at 98 ACA Accredited camps across all six New England states! We hope that even more children in need can benefit in 2015.
There were many highlights of this year’s Celebration: Our honoree, Anna Gould and Lexie and Alice Williams, a family with experience as campers and as volunteers at Camp Sunshine, hit it out of the park! We cannot recreate their speeches here, but you can read the recent Boston Globe column focused on the Williams’ experience as a Camp Sunshine family and view the video shown to feature Anna’s work. Our host, Phil Lipof, Co-Anchor of WCVB-TV NewsCenter5, kept the program lively for the evening. Guests enjoyed mobile bidding on silent auction items. (That’s right—we were all using smartphones!) Phil Lipof and Sarah Seaward, Auction Chair, drew the winning tickets for three wonderful raffle items before Phil auctioned off three live auction packages. The ambiance of Fenway Park mingled with a very positive camp vibe in the room to make for a memorable evening as we celebrated the true spirit of camp while raising funds that will make camp possible for some of the region’s children who otherwise would not benefit from camp. Our Facebook album proves it!
We’re sending a huge shout out to our Camp Champions Committee Co-Chairs: Jeff Hacker of Camp Cedar in Casco, ME, Dan Isdaner of Camp Mataponi in Naples, ME and Jason Silberman of Camp Matoaka in Smithfield, ME and their committee: Sarah Seaward, Auction Chair, of Camp Nashoba North in Raymond, ME; Emily and Kyle Courtiss of Camp Vega in Fayette, ME; Ed Metzendorf of Bunk1; Nat Saltonstall of Beaver Summer Camps in Brookline, MA and Mark Toporoff of Camp Danbee in Peru, MA. It’s amazing what Camp Champions supporters have given so that children in need can have camp experiences next summer. Sponsors were generous at record levels this year. Individual donors were too—many of them donating via smart phone at the Celebration. Auction donors’ generosity made for some very fun bidding and winners carried away fabulous experiences and items from tickets to see Jimmy Fallon and an opportunity to sign with the Danbury Whalers hockey team for a day to a Freeport package full of gift cards and sports memorabilia and tickets galore. In-kind donors made it possible to keep our overhead low: the Boston Beer Company/Sam Adams, Boston Magazine, Freemont Printing, Greg Jutkiewicz, New England Camp Discounter, Plymouth Glass Art, and Sir Speedy Printing of Westbury, NY. We are extremely grateful to event attendees for their purchases of celebration tickets, raffle tickets and auction items. And, the volunteers who power this event—from registration to the auction and everything in between—are extraordinary. We’re especially grateful to the Volunteer Coordinator, Cheryl Oliveira and the Decorations Coordinator, Beth Johns-Thomas.
We haven’t counted exactly—but there are at least two or more auction supporters for each camper who will receive a life-changing gift of camp at an ACA Accredited day or overnight next summer through our Campership Fund. It’s a great image isn’t it—the number of people standing behind each of the lucky campers in addition to their camps and their families? THAT’S what the Camp Champions Celebration is about—the enormous and enormously supportive camp community here in New England and how it can benefit some of the region’s most vulnerable children in addition to the hundreds of thousands of children coming from around the region, country and world who come to New England each summer to experience the magic of camp.
For media coverage about this event, please visit our Pinterest page.
Jeff Hacker, Co-Chair