Friday, April 13, 2012

Crunch Time at Camp Good Days

We are into crunch time here at Camp Good Days, as we are not only in the process of preparing the Recreational Facility for all of the summer camping programs and obtaining all of the permits in order to operate our programs, but we also have several special fundraising events coming up.

As I think most of you know, when I started Camp Good Days 33 years ago, it was very important to me that no family would be faced with the decision between sending their loved one to Camp Good Days and paying their bills, as oftentimes with the diagnosis of cancer one member of the family must put their career on hold to become the primary caregiver and while the family income decreases, the expenses remain the same. Therefore, I made a promise that all of our programs and services would be provided free of charge. As Camp Good Days has grown over the years and the number of programs we offer has expanded, the pressure to continually generate enough revenue to be able to keep my promise has also increased.

However, I am so pleased that due to the overwhelming generosity of so many individuals, businesses and organizations, along with the success of our special fundraising events, we are able to keep my promise and offer our programs free of charge for the many children, adults and families who need us.

Our special events are vital and the options are endless…whether you love to dance, love wine, can’t wait to get out on the golf course, or are in need of a perfect gift for someone!

This weekend, the students at Ithaca College will host their second Annual Dance for Courage, kicking off on Friday night at 8:00 PM. We wish the very best to the dancers, volunteers, and all those who have helped to make this event possible and extend our gratitude for their help and support.

Over the past 12 years, the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition and Wine Auction Dinner has become the largest fundraising event in the Greater Rochester area to benefit the children and families we serve. The 12th Annual Wine Auction Dinner will take place on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at the Rochester Plaza Hotel, 70 State Street, Downtown Rochester. This exciting evening will begin with a Wine Tasting, Silent Auction & Live Auction Preview at 5:30 PM, and the Auction Dinner at 7:00 PM. Once again this year, Matthew Chung will serve as the Lead Auctioneer and Rich Funke, Anchor with NEWS10NBC will be our Master of Ceremonies.

The 12th Annual Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, which was held March 24 & 25, 2012, was a resounding success. More than 3200 wines were entered into the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. These entries came from 788 wineries, including 109 New York State Wineries, from 22 different countries around the world, all 50 states and five Canadian Provinces.

All of the wines were evaluated by a world-renowned panel of judges representing distributors, educators, enologists, sommeliers, restaurateurs, winemakers and writers from all over the United States and around the world. The judges awarded Double Gold (unanimous), Gold, Silver and Bronze medals and the medal winning wines will be featured at the Wine Auction Dinner, along with a delicious meal, great friends and conversation, and fabulous silent and live auction items.

Tickets to attend the Wine Auction Dinner are $150.00 per person and can be purchased by calling Camp Good Days at 585-624-5555 or online via or

If you love wine, this is the event you want to attend. Tickets would also make a fantastic gift for that special someone. In addition to having a wonderful time and tasting some of the best wine in the world, you will leave that evening knowing that you have helped to create some good days and special times for some very special children and families.

In addition to the Wine Auction Dinner, we will host the 29th Annual Tournament of Love Golf Tournament on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at Monroe Golf Club, one of the premier clubs in the Rochester area. Super Bowl Champions New York Giants’ Mark Herzlich will be the Special Guest and serving as Chairpersons are Paul and Kirsten Estabrooks of Victor.

There are a few remaining Sponsorship, Advertising, and Participation options available for the 29th Annual Tournament of Love and more information is available by contacting Nicole Jones at Camp Good Days, 585-624-5555 or, or online at

In the Western New York area, the 11th Annual Camp Good Days’ Gala, will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo. This year's creative black-tie gala theme is: Camp Olympus - Where Campers Are Heroes! We invite you to join us for an elegant evening of food, music, entertainment and auctions. This event has sold out five years in a row, so get your tickets fast! To obtain more information about the event or to purchase tickets, check out or contact our Buffalo Office at 716-206-0709.

We are also gearing up for the 2012 Project T.I.P.S. events. Project T.I.P.S. stands for Trust, Information, Programs & Services, and includes community agencies and law enforcement personnel working in selected neighborhoods to rebuild trust amongst residents and share information. Groups, including one Police Officer, one Fire Fighter, and two volunteers, visit residents within the neighborhood to create conversations about quality of life issues, as well as to obtain information about the crime and violence that has plagued the neighborhood, in an anonymous format for residents. The groups also provide residents with information and contacts they can use regarding services that range from health care issues (cancer, diabetes, heart disease) to reporting information for things such as crime, vandalism, and fire.

Project T.I.P.S. continues with a community cookout and get together, where residents can come and obtain more information from service providers and law enforcement agencies, as well as have some food and beverages, and have the opportunity to visit with their neighbors that they know and meet some neighbors they may not know.

The Inaugural Project T.I.P.S. was held in August 2008 in the Dewey and Driving Park community. Since that time, Project T.I.P.S. was brought to the Dayton Street neighborhood on February, 20, 2009, following the shooting of Rochester Police Department Officer, Anthony DiPonzio. Project T.I.P.S. has also been held on April 16, 2009 in the Jefferson Avenue neighborhood, July 24, 2009 in the Conkey Avenue neighborhood; Friday, October 9, 2009 in the Hudson Avenue neighborhood; Friday, May 7, 2010 in the Lyell Avenue neighborhood; and Friday, June 25, 2010 in the Scio Street & Ontario Street neighborhood. Four Project T.I.P.S. events were held in 2011, including: Friday, May 20, 2011 in the Scio & Ontario neighborhood; Friday, June 17, 2011 in the Conkey & Clifford neighborhood; Friday, July 22, 2011 in the Jefferson Avenue neighborhood; and Friday, September 9, 2011 at Jones Park.

Following a similar plan to last year, it was decided that we will host two Project T.I.P.S. events at locations we have visited previously, and hold two events at new locations. The first Project T.I.P.S. event for 2012 is scheduled for Friday, May 18, 2012 at Jones Park.

In regards to the on-going efforts of CANCER MISSION 2020, as a result of the meeting that was held on February 28, 2012, it was determined that a small, working committee should be formed and tasked with the objective of developing a plan for addressing cancer in Monroe County. We had our first meeting of this small committee Wednesday afternoon. The goal of this committee is to create this plan and have it ready to be presented to County Executive Maggie Brooks early this summer. The plan will focus on three key areas: Prevention; Education & Research, in terms of sharing information about where we are now in the fight against cancer and about how people can become active advocates for making finding the answers to cancer a priority, and utilizing CANCER MISSION 2020 as a means for bringing cancer to the front burner and encouraging people to visit the website, sign the petition and share the information; and Support for those who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis and treatment. We have a great group of people working on this committee, with some fantastic synergy and we are all looking forward to our upcoming meetings and to the opportunity we have been given to develop a plan that can serve as a model for other communities across New York State and around the country.

I also had the opportunity to meet with Congressman Tom Reed last week to discuss the CANCER MISSION 2020 legislation that he will be introducing and am looking forward to sharing more about that soon.

PLEASE…if you have not yet done so, check out, learn the facts about where we stand in the fight against cancer and if you feel the way that we do, sign the CANCER MISSION 2020 Petition and share the site with your network of contacts. There is strength in numbers and we need everyone’s support!

For me personally, one of the most special things we do during the year is our Annual Florida Fun Fest, in which we take a group of campers to experience the magic and adventure of Central Florida. We have been taking this trip since 1985 and this year, we are taking the trip a bit later than usual, but we have a fun and exciting long weekend planned for the campers who will be attending. The group will fly into Tampa and spend a couple of days there and then head over to Orlando for a couple of days. While in Central Florida, the group will have the opportunity to visit Busch Gardens, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Even though we are in 2012 and it may seem hard to believe, it is always so special to see someone who is taking their first flight on an airplane or visiting one of the theme parks for the very first time.

As you can tell by reading this, there is a lot going on! It is amazing to realize how much we accomplish and it truly starts with the many, many volunteers who give so much of their time and love to help us and a small, but great staff here at Camp Good Days. We could not accomplish all that we do, without all of them!

On the topic of volunteers…there is still time to get your Volunteer Application completed and submitted for the summer programs. Volunteer Applications for the summer programs are available online at our website,, or by calling 585-624-5555 or 800-785-2135.

Registration Forms for all of our programs are also available and complete program information and online registration can be found on our website, To obtain a hard copy of the program brochures and registration forms, please contact our Headquarters at 585-624-5555 or 800-785-2135.

Help us give some good days and special times to someone you know who is dealing with cancer…share our program information or become a volunteer!

There are many ways for you to keep up-to-date with everything we have going on…

Check out our website,

Become our fan on Facebook: /

Follow us on Twitter:

@CampGoodDays / @EndCancer2020

Tune in to the Camp Good Days’ Monthly Radio Show:

First Thursday of every month

WYSL 1040AM & 92.1FM – Miss the show?

Get the Podcast at

That’s all for now…hope you all have a great weekend!