For children, the magic of camp can make difficult situations seem a little less overwhelming. Camp Kesem is the charity that brings the magic of camp to children whose parents have cancer. Recently, Camp Kesem held its third Susan’s Magic Makers annual fundraising event. The event was created to honor the legacy of Susan Nelson Fleiss, a beloved wife, sister, mother to three young children, talented architect, popular teacher, and devoted friend from Santa Monica, California.
Over a beach side cocktail reception and dinner, approximately 400 guests raised their voices and opened their pocketbooks to support Camp Kesem and Susan’s Magic Makers. Hosted by leaders in the entertainment industry, the evening recognized Susan and others who have faced a cancer diagnosis with courage, hope and love, and the determination to help children impacted by the disease.
Elizabeth Campo and her son Ebenezer, age 7, shared their family story and the impact Camp Kesem has made on their lives after her husband and his father passed away from cancer. The Campos were supported by local Camp Kesem student volunteers who were also present to entertain guests with their favorite camp songs, games and arts & crafts activities.
This year’s event honored former NFL Players, Torry and Terrence Holt, and the Holt Brothers Foundation for helping children through and beyond their parent’s cancer. The brothers surprised guests with an additional $5,000 paddle raise sponsorship, which matched all donations at the $500 level up to $5,000.
Event committee members, Adrienne Grant and Paul Jennings, inspired guests with a generous $30,000 paddle raise sponsorship, which matched all donations at the $1,000 level up to $30,000. This donation allows Camp Kesem to ultimately open two new chapter locations.
A paddle raise hosted by Event Committee member, Sam Brown, generated over $211,000 in under 10 minutes. In total, Susan’s Magic Makers 2014 raised over $470,000 and generated net proceeds to send nearly 700 children to camp.
Cancer affects many families throughout the United States. Each year the 1.7 million cancer cases effects 3 million kids with a parent who currently has or has had cancer or has passed away from cancer. Camp Kesem is the only national organization that recognizes and embraces this often over looked population of kids. Funds raised will allow Camp Kesem to support more children through and beyond their parent’s cancer.
For more information about Camp Kesem, please visit www.campkesem.org. For more information on Susan’s Magic Makers please visit www.susansmagicmakers.org.