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Damon Leary's Fundraiser:

Experience Camps for Grieving Children

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Damon Leary

THE STORY:

I, Damon, wrote this piece in its entirety. It's not a form letter although it might kind of read like one in parts. 

Friends and Family,
I hit some of you up two years ago. At stake this year is a one million dollar prize for the most successful fundraiser thus upping what are already high stakes. One million dollars for this organization would change it forever and bring hapiness to a lot of grieving families. 


Details:

It's a week-long bereavement camp for boys and girls, ages 9 to 16, who have lost either a parent or sibling. I spent the last 5 summers there as a counselor and can attest to the profound impact it has on every single kid who attends, not to mention the volunteers. I would feel remiss not reaching out to friends and family with an email like this spreading the word. I know all the people who run the camp personally and their commitment to this camp and these kids is profound and unwavering. This camp and the impact it has on everyone who is involved has inspired me to do many things including but not limited to: writing things like this, giving speeches to 17 year olds, playing Four Square against those same 17 year olds with the intensity of olympian, going face first down pudding slides, appearing front and center in a music video, the link to which all $50+ donors to my campaign will receive simply by emailing me the code: Superstar, the list goes on. 

It's 100% donor funded, completely free for all kids who attend, and all counselors who participate do so on a 100% volunteer basis. The kids themselves are phenomenal and incredibly receptive to and shaped by all the support that goes their way. They transform at camp in ways I would not have thought possible. I can't describe in this one piece the sinking helpless empathy one feels seeing a terrified self-conscious 10 year old, who lost a parent a few months prior, arrive at camp for the first time, get off the bus wearing a sad look that says, "please get me the hell out here this place is going to suck." Likewise I can't describe in this one email the joy one receives seeing that same kid, a few days later, happily bouncing around camp, high fiving you and his new pals, covered in face paint or pudding or whip cream, completely free to have fun because he's surrounded by kids just like him, and counselors whose enthusiasm and support is near fanatical. I can't also describe what it's like hearing them open up during campfires and circle time about their losses, many of them doing so for the first time, and seeing them fully supported by their fellow campers and therefore unburdened in the process. Seeing big 17 year old kids get out of their seats to hug a crying 10 year old who just shared his story with the entire camp is something I can't put into words here. 

Cost:

It's costs $1000 per camper per week which is the bargain of the century considering the amount of stuff they pack into every experience: sports training for most major sports, water skiing, wake boarding etc, sailing, full waterfront, climbing wall, cooking classes, bowling trips, mini golf trips, a live band, arts and crafts, a reptile guy!, video cameras and edited highlight videos that they show before a talent show, unbelievable food that many of them don't get to experience the rest of the year, the list goes on. It's tons of bang for buck. It's an even bigger bargain knowing that every one of these kids will remember every single day of camp for a long time, if not a lifetime. They connect with each other outside of camp and stay in touch throughout the year so the 1 week at camp reverberates strongly the other 51 weeks and will for years afterward. 

The Foundation, now more than ever, is in need of funding as they have recently expanded to 3 new locations.

Thoughts:

There are tons of worthy causes out there. You can and should give to all worthy causes. I am biased towards this one because I see firsthand where the money goes. Nothing is wasted in the pipeline.  These kids are great but they need help and support having been dealt a serious emotional and financial blow. They can go many different directions. In the course of their lifetimes each one of them will affect hundreds of people that they come across, befriend, work for, hire, marry, or raise. Many of these kids will have kids.  I know without question that this mega-dose of positivity in the form of this bereavement camp will transform them positively for their entire lives, and therefore all the people that they come across and/or raise. So it's not just 1 kid for 1 week. It's thousands of people over generations, many of whom will do great things and have great thoughts in the process. 

If you know anyone:

Also, if you know of any boy or girl age 10 - 16 who might be interested in attending please let me know. Needless to say I highly recommend it.

For more information and pics and testimonials about Camp etc click below. 

Thanks for your time.

Damon

http://www.experience.camp/

REGISTER

$19,910

MONEY RAISED
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  • Damon Leary

    $250

  • JD

    $250

  • Cara Karp

    $100

  • Anonymous

     

  • Jennifer Lenihan

     

  • Gonz Guerrero

    $50

  • Michelle Kim

     

  • Sara Kozak

    $300

  • Christine Shuler

    $100

  • Gina Marcon

    $250

  • Gregor Gomory

    $250

  • Anonymous

    $200

  • Dan Kornfeld

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $50

  • Josh and Molly Stern

    $250

  • Larry Israel

    $2,000

  • D & T Greenberg

    $150

  • Heather Foley

    $100

  • Adam Ames

    $250

  • Georgine

    $100

  • Angela Ballard

     

  • Scott Wolfgang

    $25

  • Kevin Fitzpatrick

    $2,000

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $250

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Erika Malm Cooley

    $100

  • Anonymous

    $1,000

  • Anonymous

    $100

  • Luigi Leary

    $250

  • Katie Cushmore

     

  • Neal Pilzer

    $2,500

  • Rebecca Cobb

    $50

  • Damon Leary

    $2,750

  • Speelay

    $5,000

  • Craig Beni

    $100

  • Connor ORourke

    $300

  • Austin Street Productions

    $200

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199% Raised of$10,002 Goal

The Team: $414,954 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

Fundraiser Title

Experience Camps

Amount Raised

$61,040

 

12% Raised of$500,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Sunil Arora

Amount Raised

$30,264

 

101% Raised of$30,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Wiley Cerilli

Amount Raised

$22,620

 

75% Raised of$30,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Ben Luntz

Amount Raised

$20,508

 

103% Raised of$20,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Damon Leary

Amount Raised

$19,910

 

199% Raised of$10,002 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Emily Distel Herman

Amount Raised

$19,775

Fundraiser Title

Aron Weingard

Amount Raised

$16,227

 

108% Raised of$15,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Matthew Solow Gracie Lebersfeld

Amount Raised

$12,887

 

86% Raised of$15,000 Goal

Donor Comments

Austin Street Productions

Austin Street Productions

DONATION: $200

4 years ago

Connor ORourke

Connor ORourke

DONATION: $300

4 years ago

Craig Beni

Craig Beni

DONATION: $100

4 years ago

Speelay

Speelay

DONATION: $5,000

4 years ago

Damon Leary

Damon Leary

DONATION: $2,750

4 years ago

Rebecca Cobb

Rebecca Cobb

DONATION: $50

4 years ago

Neal Pilzer

Neal Pilzer

DONATION: $2,500

4 years ago

Katie Cushmore

Katie Cushmore

4 years ago

Luigi Leary

Luigi Leary

DONATION: $250

4 years ago

Anonymous

ANONYMOUS

DONATION: $100

4 years ago