A Continual Effort
CHAUTAUQUA – Raising more than $11,000 to benefit children with cancer wasn’t enough for Matt Anderson and Camp Chautauqua.
Anderson, manager and co-owner of Camp Chautauqua, hosted a second annual fundraising event Saturday to benefit Camp Good Days and Special Times – which is located in Mendon, south of Rochester.
The event featured a silent auction and blood drive, as well as several giveaways throughout the day. The auction items were donated by several businesses through personal and professional connections to Anderson – who said the reason behind everything is the children.
“The idea is to get people here and bid, and people are,” said Anderson. “Last year, we raised around $8,000 just at the auction; and we sold balloons and T-shirts at our store. But just to watch these kids smiling and laughing while they’re walking around looking at stuff to buy is the fun part. And you know there’s another kid somewhere that you’re helping.”
Now in it’s 34th year, Camp Good Days and Special Times is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children, adults and families who have been affected by cancer. At no charge, the camp provides summer camping experiences and year-round events and activities for the participants.
Camp Chautauqua’s involvement with Camp Good Days began in 2011 when Campground Owners of New York, a trade association of more than 200 privately owned campgrounds in New York, was looking for a way to market themselves. Anderson, who is a board member of CONY, suggested creating a charity organization and raising money to help others.
After a season-long fundraising effort, CONY ultimately presented Camp Good Days with a check in the amount of $42,416.25 last year. More than a quarter of these funds came from Camp Chautauqua.
This year’s fundraising event at Camp Chautauqua was attended by James McCauley Jr., PAVE coordinator at Camp Good Days. McCauley praised Anderson for his efforts to raise funds for Camp Good Days.
“When he presented the concept to me a little over two years ago, I could hear the enthusiasm in his voice,” McCauley said. “All the people I’ve met from CONY are terrific, but (Anderson) is the engine that drives the effort here. And the fact that he put this all together just blows my mind, and I’m so thankful for him.”
Anderson said he fully intends to continue collaborating with Camp Good Days in spite of whether any future initiatives with CONY will manifest.
“Regardless if CONY sticks with it another year, or whatever they do, Camp Chautauqua is sticking with Camp Good Days,” he said.