Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holiday Update

As you can imagine, things have been very hectic and busy, here at Camp Good Days, and the time just goes by so quickly.  As 2012 rapidly comes to a close we are in the final days of the Annual Joe Benet Memorial Kazoo Fest; we are hosting some Petition Drives for CANCER MISSION 2020; completing our annual independent audit and working on the budget for the coming year. 


The Kazoo Fest is taking place at the malls in Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse and Ithaca, so if you are out doing your holiday shopping, stop by the Kazoo Fest tables and pick up some great stocking stuffers and gifts.  If you are in need of a large amount of kazoos, which make a great addition to any holiday or New Year’s celebration, please call our Headquarters at 585-624-5555 and we would be happy to accommodate your bulk purchase.  Once again, I would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to the store managers and employees at JC Penney at Eastview Mall, Marketplace Mall, and Greece-Ridge Center Mall, as well as the staff at Walden-Galleria Mall, Destiny USA, and the Shops at Ithaca, for their continued support and for making it possible for us to host the Annual Kazoo Fest at their locations again this season.


This special time of year provides us with the opportunity to be thankful for our many blessings.  Camp Good Days has so many special angels, who in small ways and large ways, help us to continue fulfilling our mission and who have helped me to keep my daughter Teddi’s memory and legacy going, and for that I am forever grateful. 


It is also the time that we plan for the coming year and all of the excitement and unknown that goes along with that.  With that in mind, I would like to share with you some of our objectives for 2013. 


There has been a lot going on in regards to CANCER MISSION 2020.  We are currently working with a small committee to make some changes and updates to the CANCER MISSION 2020 website,, and are looking forward to sharing those changes very soon. 


As many of you know, CANCER MISSION 2020 was officially launched on December 2, 2010 and it is hard to believe that two years have gone by already.   We are proud of how far we have come in such a short time and we are excited about the coming year.  CANCER MISSION 2020 is based on a three-prong approach of INFORMATION – CALL TO ACTION – ACCOUNTABILITY. 


To put things in perspective: the odds of tripping while texting are 1 in 10 – the odds of getting cancer in your lifetime are 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women.  11,000 Americans are dying from cancer every week – that is one American every single minute! 


In 2013, we will continue with the INFORMATION phase, through hosting CANCER MISSION 2020 Petition Drives, re-invigorating our CANCER MISSION 2020 College Campus Advocates Program, and I am pleased that we have a new staff member, Phil Martello, who will be helping with the social media aspects of CANCER MISSION 2020.  We will also be moving into the CALL TO ACTION phase with the re-introduction of the legislation that was introduced by Congressman Tom Reed into Congress this past year.  This legislation is a direct result of the recommendations that came as a result of the Congressional District Cancer Summits held in 2011.  We will also be looking at hosting additional Congressional District Cancer Summits during 2013.  We will be moving forward with the Action Plan to Reduce the Burden of Cancer in Monroe County – where cancer is now the leading cause of death – in March, during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, as colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in Monroe County. 


Special thanks to all those who have responded to our call for help in obtaining signatures for the CANCER MISSION 2020 Petitions, both online and in person.  Thousands have signed the petition and we continue that effort, as there is strength in numbers and we need that strength to demonstrate to our leaders that we want cancer to be a top priority.  Please share the CANCER MISSION 2020 Petition with your network – people can sign online or download hard-copy petition sheets at 


We are in the process of putting together our summer program schedule and we will be making a concentrated effort to reach out to all of the hospitals that serve adults dealing with cancer, particularly to share information about our Women’s Oncology Program, as well as our Childhood USA programs for children who have a parent or sibling dealing with cancer, and our Camp B&ST programs for children who have lost a parent or sibling to cancer.  And as we always have been, we will continue to be dedicated to serving children who are dealing with cancer.


Through our Partners Against Violence Everywhere (PAVE) Initiative, we will continue to help coordinate the Project Exile Program, which is a joint law enforcement and community initiative to help remove illegal guns from the streets of our community; look at Project T.I.P.S. (Trust, Information, Programs and Services) for next summer; continue to hold the very successful Homework Huddle tutoring and mentoring program; and continue our relationships and partnerships, working with the Rochester City School District and the Leadership Program and the Rochester Police Department’s Do The Right Thing Award Program. 


Along with all of the above-mentioned things, we are looking to renovate the Arts & Crafts and Woodworking activity areas at the Recreational Facility, which are two of the most popular activities for our campers.  The renovated Arts & Crafts area will be done in memory of renowned artist, Ramon Santiago, who until losing his own battle to cancer, was a dear and special friend to the children at Camp Good Days.  We are also having our Headquarters and Volunteer Training Facility re-sided.


And last but not least, I was recently going through some boxes and came across a movie script that had been written in 1996, based on For the Love of Teddi: The Story Behind Camp Good Days and Special Times, which was written by Dr. Lou Buttino. I am dusting it off and hoping to be able to update it and take it to the marketplace and share our story with many more people.


The New Year is like a new day, approached with hope and promise and I will do my best in the coming year to keep you all updated on our plans and progress, as we move forward. 


Wishing all of you a joyous Holiday Season and a New Year filled with good health, peace, happiness and much love!