The Kans for Kids Fighting Cancer Foundation announced Friday Camp Hope has received its 501(c)3 designation and will now be known as Camp Hope-Heartland.
This year marks the 33rd consecutive year that Camp Hope will offer a week-long summer camp for children from across the state of Kansas and Western Missouri who are being treated for cancer or are in remission. The camp runs June 21-27 at Barton Community College.
Camp Hope serves 60-90 children annually with the help of 100 volunteers and is held right here in Barton County.
“We are so very grateful to all of those who have contributed to Camp Hope over the years,” said Debbie Reif, Kans for Kids co-executive director. “Whether it was a donation directly to Camp Hope or in support of the tax credits to rebuild Camp Aldrich, please know how very thankful we are to each and every one of you. You have made a huge difference to children who have or have had cancer.”
In 2013, the future of Camp Hope was uncertain when the American Cancer Society made a conscious decision to focus more on research and end its support of camps nationally, including Camp Hope. On Aug. 1, 2013, Kans for Kids became the fiscal sponsor for Camp Hope. Although it seemed like a huge undertaking for such a small, local organization, the Kans for Kids board voted unanimously to assist Camp Hope, provide them with a $5,000 start up donation, give them 10 percent of all Kans for Kids fundraisers for their first year as well as provide all of their liability and malpractice insurance.
Camp Hope pulled at the heart strings of the Kans for Kids’ board, Reif said. The board knew that if someone didn’t acquire the fiscal sponsorship that Camp Hope would not be able to hold camp.
In March of 2014, a fire destroyed the Conference Center/Dining Hall at Camp Aldrich, the home of Camp Hope. Kans for Kids, through the sale of tax credits and private donations, was able to present Barton Community College with $317,000 to aid with construction of the new facility which will once again accommodate Camp Hope in years to come.
“We will never be able to thank the Camp Hope Committee enough for their hard work and dedication to Camp Hope,” Reif said. “Kans for Kids is proud to share its best wishes and congratulations with Camp Hope Heartland as they celebrate this huge milestone.”