Each year, perhaps one of the most difficult tasks a new Governor faces is to select a “Project” as their focus for the year – and this year is no exception. There are so many great and worthy campaigns that draw attention, however as Lions it is impossible to fulfill all of the needs. As you are likely aware, there are four Camps (Lions Camp Dorset, CNIB Lake Joe, Camp Huronda, Camp Rumble) located in our District that have received past and ongoing support from Clubs. Please continue to support these outstanding Camps!
Last year, our Pillars of Service changed from 4 to 5 – with Youth being replaced with Juvenile Diabetes and Pediatric Cancer. Since the last three District A12 Gov’s projects were focused on Diabetes, I felt that Childhood Cancer would be a new opportunity that our Clubs may embrace. Unfortunately, no one is immune to Cancer and when it afflicts Children it seems to heighten our emotions. A diagnosis of childhood cancer is a big, scary, sudden swerve in the road – changing life in an instant!
For over 35 years, Camp Oochigeas (Ooch) has offered a different path – where the healing power of fun, friendship and self-confidence are easier than kids and families could ever imagine. They have plans to grow their impact to reach many more children who deserve to feel the Magic of Camp Ooch. The Camp is located just East of the town of Rosseau and is almost in the geographical centre of our District.
Since 1983. Ooch has gone hand in hand with thousands of families on their journey with childhood cancer. Campers (and their siblings) first feel the Magic of Ooch in hospital (clinics, waiting rooms or at bedside) when an Ooch counsellor asks if want to play. Kids get to choose whether or not to join in, because the relationship between Ooch and families is built on trust and respect!
The Camp has four Camper Cabins that require Handicap Access at the Entry. The Cabins will be retro-fitted with push-button door openers, ensuring ALL Camper-accessed building entrances are accessible to kids of all abilities. It is my hope that the District A12 Lions Family will embrace the challenge of raising $30,000 to facilitate funding for this project.
Many Clubs in our District are already familiar with Camp Ooch and have been making donations on a continual basis. For those that would like to visit Camp Ooch, they host an Open House the last Sunday in July (July 28th, 2019) each year, for Parents and Donors to experience the Magic. I would encourage you to try and attend so you can see this life-changing facility first hand!
Your support for this project would be greatly appreciated!