Billings, Mont.-based KOA raised a record $378,232 from all sources during the May 14-15 Come Kamp & Care With Us Weekend event, according to a news release. During the sixth annual event, a record 57,000 campers received a free night of camping on Saturday just for staying as a paid guest on Friday, May 14.
â€œOur KOA owners across North America do a wonderful job creating fundraising activities for their campers and really pull out all of the stops to help raise funds for KOA Care Camps for children with cancer,â€ said KOA CEO Jim Rogers. KOA Care Camps is a network of 44 specialized summer camps located throughout North America that give children with cancer and their siblings a summer camping experience, while allowing them to continue their treatments and recovery. The camps are staffed with medical personnel and specially trained counselors. All donated funds go directly to operate the summer KOA Care Camps.
Next year's KOA Come Kamp & Care With Us Weekend has already been scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 13-14.
The event was created in 2004. That first year, about $30,000 was raised through donations to benefit KOA Care Camps.
â€œYou can see how the May event and the ongoing charity efforts have grown over the years,â€ Rogers said. â€œCome Kamp & Care With Us Weekend has become a recognized â€˜start of the summer camping season' event for tens of thousands of camping families throughout North America.â€
According to Choose Outdoors President and CEO Bruce Ward, "This event epitomizes the heart and soul of the outdoor community. We should all be looking for ways to work together to make the most of our love of the outdoors and desire to give back to those less fortunate and need of the renewal many of seek on a daily basis."