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Kiwanis Sunshine Point Camp gets around $100k in support



by Sylene Argent

On Thursday afternoon, representatives of Kiwanis Sunshine Point Camp, located along County Road 50 in the Colchester area, were pleased to received two different donations that totaled over $100,000; of which $50,000 was provided through the Stephanie & Barry Zekelman Foundation. Essex MP Tracey Ramsey presented the other donation, which was nearly the same amount, through the Canada Summer Jobs program.

  The funding will help ensure the camp is operational for more youth to enjoy in the future.

  The first donation came through the Stephanie & Barry Zekelman Foundation, which totaled $50,000. These funds sponsored one of the six newly-built cabins at the site that houses youth as they enjoy all the camp has to offer.

  The motto for the cabin, “Work Hard, Play Hard,” is proudly displayed.

  A $50,000 donation, Dan Inverarity, who volunteers with the camp, provides for a five-year cabin sponsorship commitment. Each year, it takes around $150,000 to run the camp, so the sponsorships are critical in ensuring the programming can continue to be available.

  “We need help so the legacy of this place can continue,” he said. Over the past few years, he has been overwhelmed with the generosity of the community.

  Stephanie toured the camp before presenting the funds. She noted the donation happened spontaneously and organically. She was at an event in Windsor when Inverarity approached her about how important the camp was to the many youth who get to attend it every summer.

  “I thought it was a great idea,” she said of the donation to the camp, noting she was happy to tour the facility to see what use the Foundation could possibly offer the camp. “I think it is so important for children,” she said of camping, noting that is where youths get to run, play, meet friends, and have a great time.

  Stephanie noted camping was a part of her life, as well as the lives of her husband and children.

  Currently, Kiwanis Sunshine Point Camp is looking for two more cabin sponsorships, and Stephanie said she would do her best to help find other donators.

  Tracey Ramsey, MP for Essex, also presented the representatives of Kiwanis Sunshine Point Camp with $54,673, which was provided through the Canada Summer Jobs program in helping to employ 18 counsellors and life guards.

  Each year, her office accepts applications and determines where funding to support summer youth employment will go. Her office, she said, tries to focus on organizations that are youth-focused when deciding on where the funding will go. Through this program, around $3M has been distributed through the Essex Riding to provide employment opportunities to youth.

  “It is wonderful to come out to the camp and see the kids,” Ramsey said of her visit. “I went to this camp when I was a young girl and I know how wonderful it was.”

  Over the past four years, her office has been able to provide $192, 967 to Kiwanis Sunshine Point Camp through the Canada Summer Jobs Program.

  Seeing the many different ways the community has come together to ensure the camp can continue to operate for the youth who enjoy it was a great experience for Ramsey. “[This camp] makes a huge difference in these kids’ lives.”

  The employment opportunity for the young adults at the camp, she said, provides for a great experience.

  “It is difficult for school-aged kids to finds jobs,” she noted.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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