Send­ing kids to camp

‘Ex­tra­or­di­nary women’ give Bri­gadoon Vil­lage 57k boost

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - BY ASH­LEY THOMP­SON KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA Ash­ley.thomp­son@kingscountynews.ca

One night of good, clean fun topped off with a hint of child-like won­der is about to have a last­ing im­pact on sev­eral chil­dren in line to at­tend Camp Bri­gadoon.

Bri­gadoon Vil­lage board mem­ber Mary Dable Arab knows first-hand how the unique camp ex­pe­ri­ence can lift the spir­its of a child liv­ing with chronic ill­ness. Dable Arab’s nine-year-old son was di­ag­nosed with ju­ve­nile arthri­tis as a tod­dler, and has met other kids liv­ing with the same con­di­tion while attending Bri­gadoon’s Camp Join­to­gether.

“I think the great­est im­pact is when they see other chil­dren like them­selves,” said Dable Arab.

“They can have fun and be them­selves.”

Camp serves up a healthy dose of strength, guid­ance, com­pas­sion and laughs, Dable Arab said.

“It gives you the en­ergy and courage - and the fuel - to keep go­ing.”

Dable Arab, pres­i­dent of BARA Man­age­ment Group, re­cently held a fund and aware­ness-rais­ing event at her home in the Hal­i­fax-area to rally sup­port for Bri­gadoon. She in­vited 100 ex­tra­or­di­nary women to her home in hopes that the group would raise $25,000 to cover the cost of send­ing 25 kids to camp.

“We are thrilled to an­nounce that not only did this group of ex­tra­or­di­nary women raise over $32,000, but an anony­mous guest also made a gift of $25,000, sur­pass­ing $57,000 for the evening,” a press re­lease cir­cu­lated by Bri­gadoon Vil­lage reads.

Dable Arab felt com­pelled to host a fundraiser that would ben­e­fit cash-strapped fam­i­lies that are un­able send a child to sum­mer camp on top of cov­er­ing the costs of the nec­es­sary med­i­cal ex­penses.

“Bri­gadoon Vil­lage op­er­ates on a pay-what-you-can fee struc­ture, so fam­i­lies can pay as lit­tle or as much as they can, with ex­tra­or­di­nary donors and part­ner or­ga­ni­za­tions, like Mary Dable Arab, cov­er­ing the re­main­der of the costs,” the Bri­gadoon Vil­lage media re­lease notes.

Dable Arab’s fundraiser was built around a fit­ting theme – camp­ing. There were smore sta­tions for marsh­mal­low roast­ing, a lemon­ade stand evok­ing child-like won­der with the words ‘once upon a time’ spelled out in italic mir­rored let­ters, themed party favours, glit­tery cham­pagne and food pre­pared by res­i­dent Bri­gadoon chef Di­anne Ken­dall.

“The idea was to con­jure up your child­hood. We all had hopes and dreams when we were chil­dren,” she said, adding she wanted the evening to stir up feel­ings of be­ing at camp.

“We wanted to in­spire con­ver­sa­tion about what Bri­gadoon is.”

Dable Arab was thrilled with the end re­sult of bring­ing a gen­er­ous group of ex­tra­or­di­nary women to­gether in sup­port of a com­mon cause.

“I had a wide net­work of peo­ple that I thought I could reach out to and re­ally do some­thing fun,” she said.

It warms her heart to think of the num­ber of fam­i­lies that will have help send­ing a child to Camp Bri­gadoon as a re­sult of the suc­cess­ful fundraiser.

“I just think it’s fan­tas­tic,” she said.

“It’s just one less thing a par­ent has to worry about.”

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