Boca Raton woman helps children with cancer ROCK at summer camps


Name: Amy Chiera

Residence: Boca Raton

Birthplace: New York City

Family: Husband, Vincent Chiera, three children

Career: Teacher at Sunrise Park Elementary School west of Boca Raton

Cause: The Chiera Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in memory of Nicholas R. Chiera. Proceeds from the foundation’s annual golf tournament are used to help children diagnosed with cancer attend the American Cancer Society’s

Q. Describe your volunteer role.
A. The foundation holds a golf tournament and auction each year. I work with other foundation volunteers to collect items and services for the auction. Our efforts are year-round. On the day of the event, we also have specific tasks assigned to help make the tournament a success.

Q. Why do you volunteer?
A. I want to support my family’s effort to help children diagnosed with cancer and honor my father-in-law’s memory. I also visited a ROCK camp, and the experience was inspiring. So much of my volunteer work stems from that visit and the desire to spread the word about what a special resource ROCK camps are for children and families.

Q. How does this camp help?
A. For a few days, campers get a chance to relax, have fun and just be kids. Each child’s situation is unique, but while they are at camp, the focus is on what each child can do. Caregivers also know their child’s medical needs are being met, a constant concern that encompasses so much of their daily lives.

Q. What has this organization accomplished?
A. Since its inception, the golf tournament has raised more than $2.4 million and sent thousands of children to summer camps. The event also funds and awards college scholarships to cancer survivors and sends families dealing with cancer to a weekend retreat in Disney World.

Q. What have you gained through your volunteer work?
A. It is a heartwarming and extraordinary experience to see the friendships formed during ROCK camps. Watching the transformation at camp from a child battling or recovering from cancer to simply a child having fun at summer camp is the best reward.

Q. Aside from money, what does the foundation need?
A. Our fundraising and community awareness efforts continue all year long. We hold volunteer meetings throughout the year and are always searching for new ways to involve the community in our events and increase awareness.

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