The Wetfoot Blog

Monday, November 2, 2009

Once upon a time ...

Once upon a time in a northern land, surrounded by lakes with boulders, rivers with “Manito” wishes, creeks with Stevenson’s, and trip routes named after TV networks (TLC), there exists a place … a very special place … called Camp Manito-wish YMCA.

In this special place, where everybody is a winner and people consider it as much fun to run around with paint on their face and a sock in their back pocket as they do to carry canoes and Wanigans from lake to lake, there is a magical event that takes place every year. It’s called the Annual Fund Drive (or, as we call it in acronym land, the “AFD”).

The AFD is an annual opportunity for the members of the Manito-wish community to collaborate to make a Manito-wish experience available to as many participants as possible. Over 9,000 members of the Manito-wish family have been invited to make a donation to Camp. The funds raised will provide camperships (financial assistance) to campers, families and leadership groups who would not otherwise be able to afford a Manito-wish program. The donations also support the general budget of camp to keep strong programs, staff and facilities.

Magical is the word that best describes the Annual Fund Drive! In 2009, in a year when many were struggling to hold on to a job and facing challenges created by circumstances completely out of their control, the Manito-wish community came together to provide over $440,000 in support for Camp, its programs and participants. Over $255,000 was given out in camperships!

There wasn’t any one donor or foundation who brought about the success. It was many, many alumni and friends, giving what their circumstances allowed, remembering how their lives were changed by Manito-wish. It was over 130 volunteers giving of their time to make calls to their camp friends to gather support. It was, and will continue to be, magical!!

And so the story continues … The oars will still break out, the island will still call and memories will continue to be made on the shores of Boulder Lake (and beyond) … the next chapter of generosity and opportunity will be written in the weeks and months ahead!

-Ellie Orbison

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