Yesterday evening over 130 Dubuque area residents came together to support Camp Albrecht Acres in an incredible display of generosity and support. The evening began with fellowship and light appetizers provided by Cast Iron Skillet catering and entertainment by the talented local band, Sam and the Others. Board members, camp staff, campers, volunteers and people new to Camp altogether spoke about their memories of camp, why they support camp today, and got to know one another.
During the program, three campers spoke to the crowd about their experiences at camp and shared their favorite camp activities, food and memories. We heard about how new friendships are made, that camp food is pretty great, and the swimming pool is a highlight of camp activities! The campers did an amazing job sharing their experiences and reminded everyone in attendance why we do what we do!
There are many reasons to support Camp Albrecht Acres, and while these campers’ stories reminded us of a few, the evening showed there are far more reasons to give to Camp than one might originally think. Many of the persons in attendance are related to, friends with, or know a camper. Having a personal connection with an individual with special needs is a great reason to support camp. Board member, Nicole Gantz shared her story with camp staff and we want to share it with you:
When I learned by newborn baby had Down syndrome, my imagination ran wild. One thought was wondering if Joshua was going to be able to have a “normal” existence; whatever that is really. Would he fit in in society? Would he find his place in life? Would he get to experience everything that other kids and adults had the opportunity to? These are probably common fears of parents with kids with special needs. So, I support Camp Albrecht Acres because they provide kids and adults with special needs the opportunity to have a typical camping experience in a safe, beautiful and caring setting. This camping opportunity gives parents the pride knowing they are providing their children with the most “normal” experience possible.
Nicole’s story gives us some perspective on why we should all consider donating to camp, but just because you might not have a personal connection like Nicole’s doesn’t mean you can’t help further enrich the quality of life of Dubuque area persons with special needs! As Nicole went on to mention, “The camp does not qualify for federal or state funding, so this camp can only exist through the generosity of its donors and supporters and the dependence on grants. Consider donating dollars to the camp to give our fellow special needs friends and family an ultimate camping experience. You’ll be glad you did.”
We are proud to announce that yesterday evening our guests in attendance recognized the importance of this camp for our campers and their families and friends. Through a live auction, a “Fund the Need” camper donation campaign, and the generosity of all who came out, we raised enough to sponsor 66 campers’ registrations this summer!
Camp Albrecht Acres has never turned a camper away due to financial need, and because of our generous community and events like last night, we hope to never have to. Each year Camp Albrecht Acres covers the funding for around $80,000 in camp fees. As we enter our 40th year providing camp opportunities for our campers we are especially grateful for the support we have received from our community. A Night of Celebrating All Abilities was a great way to reflect on that support and was an eye-opening experience for many in attendance.
We are incredibly thankful for the evenings' sponsors, the Board of Directors committee who planned the event, specifically Barb Kurt, Libby Streinz, Nicole Gantz, Angie Mozena and Lori Stewart, the Markham Auction Team, Steeple Square for being a fantastic venue, Sam and the Others for providing entertainment, Cast Iron Skillet for the amazing appetizers, the volunteers present and all those in attendance who supported our campers not only at this event but throughout the years.
Staff Members of Camp Albrecht Acres update this blog with press releases and information about camp events, camper stories, and community pride. If you have any stories you'd like to add, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org for review.