(Partnership with Camp Boggy Creek gives kids battling cancer a chance to have fun)
What started out as a tribute to their father who passed away from cancer has now turned into one of the largest fundraising efforts to help kids with cancer attend summer camp and college.
NICK’s CAMP which stands for Nothing’s Impossible for Cancer Kids will debut in the summer of 2014 at Camp Boggy Creek, in Eustis, Florida . The Chiera Family Foundation has been helping kids that are battling cancer attend summer camp for the past twenty years. Initially, all of their fundraising efforts were directed to the American Cancer Society’s ROCK or Reaching Out to Cancer Kids Programs. Their foundation has raised over $2.8 million dollars and has helped send thousands of kids with cancer to camp and even college.
Once we were notified that the American Cancer Society was dropping their funding of the camp and moving their dollars into pediatric cancer research, we contacted Camp Boggy Creek directly and let them know we wanted to make sure the cancer week camp kept going, said Louis Chiera, Board member and Trustee. We want to thank the American Cancer Society for all of the wonderful things they have done to make a difference in so many kids’ lives. We just feel committed to these children and did not want to see their summer camp experience come to an end.
After contacting Camp Boggy Creek’s CEO June Clark, The Chiera Family made an initial commitment to help fund the one week of camp for Kids from South Florida. Their recent dinner/ auction and golf tournament helped raise over $150, 000 towards that goal.
In addition to helping support cancer week at Camp Boggy Creek, the Chiera family has also sent over 24 young adults who have beaten cancer to college. Through specific donations from some of their sponsors including the Cobb, Leeds, Rubin, and Haupt and Herman families, young adults from South Florida have also received a college education.
I am so thrilled to see the camp continuing, said Megan Hamerdinger a former camper, counselor and college graduate. “The Chiera Family Foundation first sent me to camp and now has helped pay for both my undergraduate and graduate education at FAU. Their generosity has allowed me to pursue my goal of working as a social worker” Because of their support and generosity, I am actually helping children deal with the same cancer that I once had” said Megan.
With the camp costing over $2,500 for each child that attends, the Chiera Family Foundation and their sponsors are looking for other sponsors and volunteers to help them with N.I.C.K.’s CAMP. “To see the camp named after our father is really a dream come true. I know that he is looking down and smiling. As commissioner of Recreation and Parks in our hometown of White Plains, N.Y., he was instrumental in starting summer camps for disabled and disadvantaged children. To see his legacy continue at Camp Boggy Creek is really special” said Chiera
Founded by Paul Newman and General Norman Schwartzkopf, the Boggy Creek Camp in Eustis, FL is a state-of-the-art summer camp that helps children enjoy swimming, canoeing, archery, arts and crafts and other fun summer camp activities, but with round-the-clock medical care close at hand. For more information on how you can help send a child or teen to N.I.C.K.’s Camp or to college, please contact Lou Chiera at 954-480-8809