Dear Friends,

The work Camp Sunshine (www.mycampsunshine.com) does for children with cancer and their families is simply the stuff miracles are made from. It’s not often we can contribute to a miracle, and as many of you know, for the last nine years, my good friend Steve Brown, who has volunteered for over 20 years, and I, give a week of our time to be camp activity counselors teaching Karate to the 7-12 year old campers. For the last few years we expanded the program and enlisted another cool instructor with a black belt in Karate and a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Tara Freidman, and the kids just love it.
It is one of the most treasured and important things I personally do each year, and the motivation behind this (now annual) e-mail. Those of you who know me well can attest I am generally not prone to bouts of sentimentality for anything other than my own kids, except when it comes to our campers; Camp Sunshine deserves that for many reasons. Not only is it an organization run by some of the best and most caring people I know, and it is a charity worthy of a special place in our hearts; it also has a special meaning for me because of the relationships I have built with the kids, even some who are no longer with us, and our fellow camp counsellors over the years. Being part of the “Karate Crew” and spending a week at Camp with children that are undergoing treatment, or have survived cancer, and still come to Karate practice and give it their best is a very humbling experience that places the importance of many things I deal with on a daily basis in the right perspective.
Unfortunately, volunteering time – emotionally rewarding and contributory as it might be – is only half the job of those who support Camp Sunshine. As with every operation, until there is a cure, Camp Sunshine must raise money every year to support activities for the children and their families. Tugging at your heart strings to help us raise money is the real purpose for this e-mail. And this year, being my tenth year as a volunteer adds another dimension to my determination to raise as much money as possible.
Raising money, pays for children to go to summer camp and spend a week in an environment where living with cancer is not the exception, but rather the shared experience. This is an environment where children with cancer can be just kids, amongst other kids like them, enjoying their summer.
There are many events put together by the many friends of Camp Sunshine. For those of you that don’t know about those events, or cannot participate, I humbly ask you to help Steve and me raise money during our participation in the Keencheefoonee Road Race. The race is one of the major fund-raising events for Camp Sunshine and it is driven entirely by the camp volunteers. This is the most amazing group of people I have ever met in all my travels around the world. Even though they volunteer their time, each year on the Tuesday morning of camp, before the campers awake, they start their day with a 5k run , or – as is the case of old fogies like Steve and me – walk, on the famous road to raise money.

I hope you can find it in your heart, and in your wallet, to make an online donation to Camp Sunshine through the Online Donation link (http://mycampsunshine.kintera.org/roadrace2011/karatecrew_papachuck) before July 1st, the day I leave for Camp (or to send me a check made out to Camp Sunshine).

Please indicate you are supporting the Karate Crew and the Keencheefoonee Road Race. For your tax records, their EIN number is 58-1872217.

And if you are interested in volunteering for Camp and want to know what it feels like to be a part of such a great group, please call me anytime.

Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support Camp Sunshine

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Chuck Papageorgiou