Happy Wednesday all you Smarty readers! Hope you are staying cool in this crazy Charlotte heat! There are lots of great things going on around town this weekend. There is one great event that we would like to highlight and that is a fundraiser for Camp CARE. This is an event for all the moms and dads. It will be a great date night and the money goes to a great cause. Amy Warren, a previous guest blogger has brought this to our attention and it is definitely worth sharing. We hope to see you there and hope that you enjoy some of the othergreat things that are going on around town.
Submitted By Amy Warren
Picture this…150 children having fun at summer camp. Swimming and boating and making crafts. Laughing and playing and enjoying all the things that kids love about camp. We’ve all done it and know how much fun it is. Now picture this….those same children just a week before, connected to an IV getting chemotherapy, lying still for an MRI to see if they remain in remission, visiting the doctor day after day….This is Camp CARE!
Camp CARE (Cancer Aint Really the End) was created over 20 years ago by a group of medical staff who recognized that children first and foremost NEED to be children. What began as a day camp for local children being treated at Carolinas Medical Center and Presbyterian has grown into a year long program that includes patients, their parents and siblings. Throughout the year, special activities are planned so that these families have a chance to meet one another and visit with others who are going through (or who have gone through) a similar experience. One month might be bowling another might be laser tag but the mission remains the same; Let children have normal experiences away from the stress of the hospital.
Once a year, 150 of these children (patients and siblings) are invited up to Lake Lure for a week away from home. For many, this is the chance of a lifetime. For some, it will be the only time they experience camp. Doctors work around treatment schedules for as many of the children as possible to allow them to come to camp. It is an amazing and unique experience as they get to interact and enjoy the company of others who truly understand what they are going through. Some are in the middle of treatment, some are just completing theirs, and some have been done for over 10 years.
What an amazing thing it is to watch a newly diagnosed patient with Leukemia meet another child who has finished their chemotherapy and gone on with their life. To see that there IS life after cancer. For brothers and sisters of these patients, it is so much fun to meet other kids who aren’t always the center of attention. Each year, over 70 individuals volunteer their time in order to make camp happen. Medical staff from both Levine Children’s Hospital and Hemby Children’s Hospital at Presbyterian attend which helps the anxious parents who allow their children to attend. I have had the opportunity to volunteer for Camp CARE for 7 years now. As one of the Co-Directors, I have been able to experience firsthand what an amazing entity that it truly is. Camp CARE is a non-profit 501 (C) organization that runs completely on donations. All activities are provided at no cost to the patients and families. The value that it has given to them is immeasurable.
On June 21st, we will be having a fund raiser for Camp CARE. A local band, formerly known as Jester Fizz will be reuniting for one night at Ri Ra uptown. The show begins at 9pm and there will be a raffle as well. This is the 2nd annual fund raiser held in memory of my mom, Kim Warren, who was a photographer for Camp CARE for several years. She passed away in 2006 of breast cancer. This is an organization that means a lot to me and it is also a great way for our community to give back to these amazing families. It typically cost around $500 to send one child to camp. Since Camp CARE is funded by donations, fund raising is a key component to continuing to bring these children together each year. Please join us at RiRa!! I promise it will be lots of fun, and it really is for a great cause. For more information on Camp CARE, please visit the website at:http://www.campcare.org/.
11th Annual Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas
June 20-22, Friday begins at 6:00pm, Saturday and Sunday, 8:00am until
Independence Park, 7th Street and Hawthorne Lane.
Celebrating not only the freedom for enslaved blacks in America, but freedom for all people who have endured slavery, this festival offers a rich array of cultural traditions through food, art and music. Highlights include international drummers, craft workshops, parades and an authentic African wedding. Free.
Hoopsa DaisyJune 20, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Amay James Park Recreation Center, 2425 Lester St.
Fun for the whole family! Come one come all and enjoy this activities fit for all skill levels. Ages 5 and up. Free, call 704-336-3053 for more details.
Movie Madness – Bug Cinema
June 20, 3:00pm
Matthews Library, 230 Matthews Station St., Matthews.
Fly into the library to catch a bug movie. Popcorn and lemonade provided!
All ages. Free.
Baby Loves DiscoJune 21, Noon-3:00pm
Cans Bar and Canteen, 500 W. Fifth St.
An afternoon dance party for toddlers and preschoolers featuring music by DJs blending classic disco tunes from the ’70s and ’80s – guaranteed to get those little booties moving and grooving. Featuring bubble machines, baskets of instruments, a chill-out room (with tents, books and puzzles), diaper changing stations, a full spread of healthy snacks and lots of dancing. Reservations recommended.
Farm DayJune 21, 10:00am-5:00pm
Charlotte Nature MuseumVisit the little farm in the big city and get up close to horses, goats, chickens and more. Learn about local farm life and its importance to our busy city lives. Cost is $5.
Lil Kickers and Summer Camp Open HouseJune 21, 10:00am-noon
Charlotte Sports Center, 8626 Hankins Road.
Summer Open House featuring both the Lil Kicker and Summer Camp programs. Kids can jump on inflatable bouncers, run and play on the INDOOR grass field & basketball court, roller skate, face paint and MORE!
Matthews Summer Concert and Movie SeriesJune 21, 7:00pm Stumptown Park, 120 S. Trade St., Matthews.
Enjoy a summer Saturday evening in downtown Matthews. Concert and pre-movie activities begin at 7pm. Movie begins at dusk. Vendors will be on site selling dinner food, treats and drinks. The movie will be “Bee Movie.” Cost is free.
Have a great weekend and we hope to see you around town. As always if you know of an event, please post to let us know.