For families with children diagnosed with cancer, there is a feeling of helplessness and a constant overwhelming state. These families are in need a place to escape and a place where their kids can feel like kids again. For families in the San Diego, California area, The Seany Foundation’s Camp Reach for the Sky offers that escape.
The Seany Foundation’s Camp Reach for the Sky has been a trusted resource among families with children who have been diagnosed with cancer and are either currently in treatment or remission. The camp has been in San Diego for 35 years and is free for all participants. Daily activities include bounce houses, face-painting, arts & crafts, a camp talent show and more which give campers memories for a lifetime.
Because of a $25,000 grant received in recognition of Chante Gonzalez-Vido through The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, The Seany Foundation was able to invite 529 more children to attend Camp Reach for the Sky. 45% of campers came from low-income households and would not have been able to participate without The NASCAR Foundation’s help. The grant helped fund a large portion of the program costs for Day Camp (around $750 per child). About 25% of the attendees this year were first time participants ranging from children that were either in treatment, remission or family siblings.
In addition, The Seany Foundation allocated funds toward its new C.A.R.E.S. (Cancer, Advocacy, Research, Education, Support) Initiative. The C.A.R.E.S. initiative tackles the mental and emotional traumas that kids and parents are facing while battling cancer. Through this initiative, the Foundation will host workshops and symposiums discussing topics such as PTSS and PTSD in parents, long term impacts on diagnosed children and what the “new normal” now is for these families.
Chante is the head counselor at Camp Reach for the Sky. Her passion for Camp Reach for the Sky stems from her own experience within the camp herself. She is a two-time cancer survivor and attended camp herself after her diagnosis with lymphocytic leukema. The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award honors NASCAR Fans, like Chante, who volunteer for children’s causes in their racing communities.
Stay tuned as the finalists for the 2018 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award will be announced this fall. Click here to learn more.