Kampgrounds of America, Inc.’s (KOA) Annual Convention, held in November, successfully raised over $220,000 for Care Camps.
This substantial sum will aid Care Camps, a national non-profit organization, in its mission to fund pediatric oncology camps across the United States and Canada.
Care Camps has been dedicated to bringing the healing power of community and the outdoors to children living with cancer and their families. This mission aligns closely with the values of the outdoor hospitality industry, emphasizing the importance of nature in healing and community building.
The fundraising efforts at the KOA Convention were diverse and engaging. Activities included raffle ticket sales, silent and live auctions, and a dinner celebration. These events not only raised funds but also fostered a sense of community among attendees, a key aspect of the outdoor hospitality industry.
A highlight of the auction was the “Meet Me in Montana” package, donated by the KOA Inc. executive team. This package alone raised $52,000, demonstrating the high level of engagement and generosity within the campground and outdoor hospitality community.
Gwynn Sullivan, executive director of Care Camps, expressed deep gratitude for KOA’s legacy partnership.
“They ignited our charity from the grassroots and have remained steadfast and committed in their support in many ways beyond monetarily. The opportunity to celebrate our partnership at their Annual Convention is one of the highlights of our year.”
She noted that KOA’s support extends beyond monetary contributions, encompassing various forms of backing that are crucial for the organization’s success.
KOA’s involvement with Care Camps began 39 years ago, initiated by a group of campground owners. Today, KOA and its campgrounds are the largest donors to Care Camps. This year, they have contributed over one million dollars, showcasing their commitment to the cause.
The partnership between KOA and Care Camps is a testament to the power of the outdoor hospitality industry in making a positive impact. It highlights how businesses in this sector can contribute to meaningful causes while strengthening their community ties.
Sullivan emphasized the lasting impact of camp experiences on children with cancer. These experiences, facilitated by the funds raised, provide not only a respite from their daily struggles but also a chance to connect with nature and others in similar situations.
In 2023, Care Camps funded over 120 pediatric oncology camps in North America. These camps offered hundreds of programs, touching the lives of thousands of children and their families. This reach demonstrates the significant impact that the outdoor hospitality industry can have on society.
For campground and outdoor hospitality operators, this event serves as an inspiring example of how the industry can make a difference. It shows that beyond providing leisure and recreation, the sector has the potential to contribute to healing and support for those in need.