In October, we will be starting Camp Good Days’ 42nd year. It is crazy to think that over these years, we have served over 50,000 campers from 22 states and 36 foreign countries. This accomplishment would never have happened without some very important people. One of those people was Adele House, who passed away recently.
I have often talked about how special some of the Camp Good Days pioneers were in the early days and how they helped to make Camp Good Days a reality. It wasn’t until 1982 that we had an office and our first paid staff person; in the beginning, we were all unpaid volunteers who had a dream of making a difference in the lives of children diagnosed with cancer. When I had said that I was starting a camp for children with cancer, most people didn’t really understand what I was trying to do or were fearful because the word “cancer” was the most feared word in the English language, and when it was associated with a child, it was too much for people to think about. The friends who were close to me knew what I was going through and when I asked them to help make Camp happen, they did. They were willing to loosen their ties, roll up their sleeves and do what they needed to do to help make the dream come true because they knew children in our community like my daughter, Teddi, were in need. Camp Good Days was the result of their commitment and hard work.
When Adele became involved with Camp Good Days, she was the secretary to former Family Court Judge, Anthony Bonadio. As those of you who know me are aware, typing is not a skill that I have, and in order to get everything squared away to be able to host Camp including getting out correspondence, setting up meetings, etc., I needed a great deal of help. Adele offered to help and was able to do it all while working around her full-time job. She found the time to send out notices, press releases, get paperwork done, and she would do whatever she needed to do to help make Camp a reality. Adele and her daughter, Barb, also volunteered at Camp each summer to get the dining hall ready for mealtimes and to clean up after.
Children and adults have been able to experience the magic of Camp Good Days because of people like Adele; people who felt that they had a calling to do some good in our community. I often say that the two greatest gifts we can give to one another are our love and our time. Adele certainly gave plenty of both, and I will miss her very much.