Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fall Update

Hello there!  I know it has been some time since my last post, but as always, there has been so much going on here, and as the summer wound down, I went straight into football, which as many of you know I am an Assistant Football Coach at St. John Fisher College, here in Rochester.

I learned last month that my long-time assistant, Laura, is moving on to bigger and better things and to the sunshine.  The odds of winning the lottery are better than finding another Laura and trying to fill those big, big shoes (actual size 5 ½), so after much thought and discussion, we have decided to take her responsibilities and divide them up amongst some staff members here at the Camp Good Days’ Headquarters. 

Chrissy Woods, who has been part of the Camp Good Days’ family for many years, as a Camp Counselor, Aquatics Director, Program Director, and most recently as Camp Director, will be taking on the role of my assistant, handling my calendar, correspondence and assisting with a number of different things we are involved with.  This will give Chrissy the opportunity to see Camp Good Days from a different perspective and to learn new skills, and I am pleased that she has accepted this challenge.  Phil Martello, our current Social Media Specialist, who is a recent graduate of St. John Fisher College and has been with us for a year is going to take on the communications and public relations responsibilities.  I am confident that both Chrissy and Phil will do a great job with these new responsibilities and we all wish Laura the very best as she begins this next chapter in her life. 

Overall, we had a fantastic summer and the many campers had an experience that they will remember for a long time to come.  Special thanks to all those who volunteered at the summer camping programs – without all of you we would never be able to create such good days and special times for those who need them the most!

We have one more weekend program, a session of our Supportive Spouse Program, next weekend, October 18-20, 2013, and the end of that program will officially close out our 2013 camping season. 

Our new fiscal year began on October 1, 2013 and we are now in the process of preparing for our Annual Independent Audit and beginning to plan for the coming year, which is a major milestone, as we will be celebrating our 35th Anniversary!

We are so thrilled to share that through the overwhelming generosity of Jay and Jay Jay Vanderstyne, Vanderstyne Toyota, and Toyota Motors, we have been given the opportunity to host the Camp Good Days’ Car Raffle once again!  With the donation from Vanderstyne of a 2014 LE Plus Corolla, one hundred percent of all ticket sales will benefit the children and families at Camp Good Days.  The Camp Good Days’ Car Raffle began on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 and the drawing will take place on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at the Teddi Dance for Love at St. John Fisher College.  The 2014 LE Plus Corolla features power windows, power locks, 16-inch Alloy Wheels, 6.1” Touch Screen / Bluetooth/USB/AUX/CD with Backup Camera, and Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof.  The Toyota Corolla offers the ideal blend of comfort, value and safety.  Tickets for the Camp Good Days’ Car Raffle are $20.00 each, or 3 tickets for $50.00 and may be purchased by contacting Camp Good Days at 585-624-5555 or 800-785-2135 or online at  Tickets may be purchased using cash, check, or credit card.  The prize winner must be at least 18 years of age.

Plans are now underway for the Annual Joe Benet Memorial Kazoo Fest.  I am so excited that the JC Penney stores at Eastview Mall, Marketplace Mall, and Greece-Ridge Center Mall have all agreed to partner with us again this year in the Rochester area to have the Kazoo Fest set-up at the mall entrances to their stores.  We are also excited to have Kazoo Fest locations at Destiny USA in Syracuse, the Walden-Galleria Mall in Buffalo, and at the Old Navy at The Shops at Ithaca in Ithaca.  The Kazoo Fest will take place from Friday, November 29, 2013 through Monday, December 23, 2013 and is a wonderful opportunity for us to not only generate some much needed funds to help make our programs possible, but provides us with the venue in which to reach many people and share all that we do with them.  We are in need of HUNDREDS OF VOLUNTEERS to help make the Kazoo Fest a great success.  No previous experience is needed and volunteers can select their preferred location, date(s), and times.  All of the Kazoo Fest Volunteer Information and Sign-Up can be found on our website,, or by contacting your local Camp Good Days’ Office (Headquarters / Rochester: 585-624-5555 / 800-785-2135; Buffalo: 716-206-0709; Syracuse: 315-434-9477; Ithaca: 607-266-9180). 

Plans are also coming together for Camp Good Days COURAGE BOWL IX.  This year’s game will be played later in the season, on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at St. John Fisher College’s Growney Stadium, and will feature the St. John Fisher College Cardinals and the Alfred University Saxons, with kick-off slated for 1:00 PM.  COURAGE BOWL IX will be the first COURAGE BOWL to take place in November, and will have major playoff implications for these Empire 8 Conference rivals. COURAGE BOWL IX will be the first game of the COURAGE BOWL series not featuring the University of Rochester, and we are all so happy that the Alfred University Saxons have agreed to be a part of this very special game for this year.  The COURAGE BOWL will continue next year when the Cardinals face The College at Brockport Golden Eagles, in September 2014 and in future COURAGE BOWL games, as they will be joining the Empire 8 Conference in 2014.

As has been done with all previous COURAGE BOWL games, we will select boys, all of whom are campers in Camp Good Days’ programs and are dealing with cancer, to serve as Honorary Coaches, with each team.  The Honorary Coaches will attend a practice with their team the week of the game; will meet their team for pre-game preparations; will be in the locker room with their team; lead their team on to the field; be at midfield for the coin toss; and coach from the sidelines during the game.  We will select girls, also campers who are dealing with cancer, to serve as Honorary Cheerleaders, with each squad.  The Honorary Cheerleaders will attend practice with the squad; meet the squad for pre-game festivities and cheer with the squad during the game.

The Honorary Coaches and Honorary Cheerleaders will be announced and introduced at the COURAGE BOWL Community Luncheon, which will be held on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, hosted by St. John Fisher College President, Dr. Donald Bain, at 11:30 AM in the Cleary Family Auditorium on the campus of St. John Fisher College. 

At the conclusion of the Courage Bowl, the Teddi Trophy, named in memory of my daughter, Teddi, will be presented, which will later be inscribed with the date of the game, final score of the game, names of the six Honorary Coaches and the names of one player from each team who displays exceptional leadership and sportsmanship. 

As part of COURAGE BOWL IX, we will present the Fourth Annual Courage Award.  The Camp Good Days’ Courage Award is presented to someone who displays courage, strength and determination in a time of great struggle.  

Tickets for Camp Good Days COURAGE BOWL IX are available for a donation of $5.00 each.  Tickets are available through the St. John Fisher College’s Athletic Department, 585-385-8309.

COURAGE BOWL IX will be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable Sports Net, and will be carried live on SportsRadio 950 ESPN and WLEA-AM 1480 in Hornell

Special thanks to our COURAGE BOWL IX sponsors: County of Monroe, TOPS Markets, Phoenix Graphics, The Flanders Group, Connors and Ferris and Clear Channel Radio.  Sponsorship opportunities, as well as Program Book Advertisements are still available.  To learn more about how you can get involved in this exciting and meaningful game, check out our website,, or call 585-624-5555. 

In other news, we have had a slight delay in the Call To Action Phase of CANCER MISSION 2020, as this phase is focused around the legislation, H.R. 2301, sponsored by Congressman Tom Reed and co-sponsored by Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and Congressman Chris Collins, and as we all know, our Federal Government is in the midst of a shutdown.  However, on the positive side, we continue to obtain signatures for the CANCER MISSION 2020 Petition, both online and through various events, activities and Petition Drives, and an Update Newsletter is on its way to those who have signed, via regular mail and / or email.  Please help us in this effort, check out the website,, sign the petition and share the site and information with your contacts.  As I have said many times, it is going to take all of us, coming together, to truly put an end to cancer as we know it, by the end of the decade. 

Again, if you are interested in helping for Kazoo Fest, CANCER MISSION 2020, or any of the programs, activities and events we have going on throughout the year, please contact us!

Wishing you all the best – until next time!