Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Night of Gratitude!

There are few places in which you can bring together a group of people, of varying age, race, gender, and life experience, and have them all be there for the same reason – to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. I have been so blessed over the past 35 years that Camp Good Days is one of those rare places. We have had thousands and thousands of volunteers and supporters over the years that have all come to Camp Good Days with one common goal – to improve the quality of life for children and their families whose lives have been touched by cancer.

Thanks to Scott Pitoniak for being a great emcee for the event! 

Each year, we honor some of these men and women who have truly gone above and beyond in helping us to fulfill our mission at our Annual Night of Gratitude. Some 300 guests including our honorees, their families, friends, and other volunteers and supporters of Camp Good Days gathered together at the Rochester Plaza in downtown Rochester.

During A Night of Gratitude, we recognized those individuals selected as recipients of the Teddi Award, named in memory of my daughter, Teddi, the inspiration behind Camp Good Days, who are all people who throughout the course of 2013 gave above and beyond to the children and families at Camp Good Days.

THANK YOU to all of our Teddi Award recipients for all they did to help Camp Good Days and CONGRATULATIONS on your Teddi Award! The Teddi Award winners were: Michaela Altobelli, Velma Campbell, Alyssa Ciliberto, Stephanie Clark, Gregory Connors, Paul Vecchio and Dave Murray, Ben Eisenhunt, Ismael Figueroa, Isabele Henry, Ben Higgins, Chrissy Judge, Katie Judge, Cheol Kessler, Christopher Keyes, Andrew Knoblauch, Gail Koch, Patty Lent, Keara Lowenhar, Connie Marrow, Jeffrey Musial ,Lauren Naramore ,John and Evelen Nobrega, Matt Park, Rich Randall and The Rochester Lancers, Lou Spiotti, Kelsey Thomas, John Trojanowski, The Valenti Family, Leslie Zinck and Erik Ward, April Wright, and Samantha Zagskorn.

We also recognized those selected for induction into the Camp Good Days’ Ring of Honor. The Ring of Honor was established as part of Camp Good Days’ 25th Anniversary Celebration in 2004 and includes those who are selected for their outstanding dedication, commitment and support of the thousands of children and families served over the years. In addition to their award, inductee’s names will be included in the permanent Ring of Honor display, which is located at the Camp Good Days’ Recreational Facility, in Branchport, NY, for all to see.

The Ring of Honor Inductees are: Jean Bartholomew, Melinda Cooper, Kim and Tony DiChario, Deb Gollus, Judy and Merrill Greenstein, Otto Harnischfeger, Annie Zimmerman and Joe Benedetto, Jill and Richard McPhee, Laura Osborn, Tom Reed, Pete Sidari, Lynne and Randy Stiefler, Gary Sullivan, Bunny Vahue, Jay and Jay Jay Vanderstyne, and Allison Wright.

Words are not enough to express the years of volunteer service and astounding financial support these inductees have given to the children and families at Camp Good Days… CONGRATULATIONS to all of our Ring of Honor Inductees and THANK YOU for everything you have done and continue to do to help Camp Good Days!

Over the past 35 years, Camp Good Days has served more than 45,000 campers from 22 states and 29 foreign countries! We have received the coveted Four-Star Rating from and we have been inducted into the Safety 1st Hall of Fame by Markel Insurance Companies. The only reason we have been able to do this and that we are able to continue all that we do is because of the support we receive from so many, like all those selected as Teddi Award recipients and inductees into the Ring of Honor.

It has been said that the two greatest gifts we as human beings can give to one another is our time and our love…all of those we recognized and honored at A Night of Gratitude have given so much of both and they are truly so very much appreciated!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

FM Dance Marathon

The Fayetteville Manlius community means so much to Camp Good Days. Not only do they raise a significant amount of money for our programs, but they provide some of the best volunteers/staff that CGD has during the summer. This past Saturday I had the pleasure of speaking during the 23rd Annual Fayetteville Manlius Dance Marathon. 

The FM Dance Marathon is a classic example of kids helping kids. It's truly gratifying seeing the students giving it their all for our campers, many of which they will never meet. It refreshes your belief in our youth, and I'm truly proud of the job they did. Over 15 campers attended the Dance Marathon, and they had a blast with the FM students.  

At Camp Good Days, you see the human spirit soar. It's been said that CGD can renew your faith. Seeing all the students at the FM Dance Marathon being so selfless and promoting the mission of Camp Good Days was extremely inspiring. We cannot express enough how much the $105,000 you raised will help our programs. Thank you for another job well done!