14th August 2011
As you may or may not know, we here at Camp Suisse are the very proud supporters of the Andrew Woinarski Schools Foundation. A charity very close to our hearts; the foundation, set up in the name of a very dear friend and ex-colleague, continues the work begun by Andrew in schools during his travels to Thailand and Laos. The foundation, now in its sixth year, has gone from strength to strength led by his sister Alex and brother-in-law Tony with the support of an array of sponsors and fundraisers.
Now somewhat of a Camp Suisse tradition, each year we do our best to inform campers about the foundation’s life changing work and offer them the chance to give what they can in support of those children and teenagers in Thailand and Laos much less fortunate than themselves. To this effect, over the past three summers Camp Suisse campers, along with contributions from us here at Camp Suisse, have raised a heart stopping total of 3000 Swiss Francs (£2000/$2500), an outstanding effort I’m sure you’ll agree! And a sum very much appreciated by the foundation and its beneficiaries. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have donated so kindly to this cause and appreciate your continued support.
The projects set up and supported by the Andrew Woinarski foundation make this, we believe, a truly worthwhile cause to support. As a small snapshot of the fantastic work they do- to date they have constructed four new schools and have raised enough funds for work to begin on two more in 2011!
This year we’ve taken a break from our usual charity work in order to turn our attention to a very pressing cause a little closer to home but still very close to our hearts. Four year old Suranna Louise Gleeson suffers from Cerebral Palsy Diplegia which affects her legs and is caused by slight damage to the brain where the signals do not go from the brain to the muscles in her legs. She can’t walk without aid and she therefore has a Kaye Walker to help her get around. Her parents have been made aware of an operation in the US called Selective Dorsal Rhuzotomy (SDR). The operation has been performed on over 2000 patients with a 100% success rate, the only catch being that it comes at very high cost and is not available in the UK through the NHS. Suranna’s parents have resolved to raise enough money to send her to the states to have this life changing operation; totally a sum of £50,000 (flights, accommodation, operation and physiotherapy). This summer at Camp Suisse we are aiming to raise £5000 towards Suranna’s Stepping Stone. Read on to find out what we’ve been getting up to in order to reach this goal.
We came into this task with all guns blazing and having an endless supply of ideas flowing from a creative, motivated and generous staff has made our goal a whole lot easier. Our staff led activities have included some of your classic fundraisers, such as guess the number of sweets in the jar and name the teddy bear, to name but a few.
In other areas, Rosie from the activities team had the idea of setting up an out of hours bracelet production line; in the end, after a little instruction and a few dropped threads, she had well over 15 members of staff, both male and female, creating a range of wonderful coloured bracelets which were sold to staff and campers alike.
Our charity bingo and casino nights, much of a camp tradition, saw the generosity of our campers come to the fore. The request of a small donation of whatever they could give to participate in the event was met with generosity.
A less conventional but very effective idea was the donate a day’s pay, which saw our generous staff offering up a hard earned day’s pay towards the cause. Thank- you to all those who contributed.
An undercover, covert hit-squad comprised of several group leaders (headed up by Ryan, for those of you seeking revenge!) received small payments from campers and staff to get one over on members of the Camp Suisse team, all performed and taken in a good natured manner of course. As an example of some of their revengeful undertakings, Jonjo’s group all chipped in to have him tied to a chair whilst they pelted him with water balloons to get him back for his bad jokes at the dinner table. Once the word got around about team racoon there was no stopping them, as they received attack orders from all over. A price was placed on Camp Director Richard’s head which inspired many to reach into their pockets and donate. A total of well over 200 CHF was raised to put Rich through the punishment better known as ‘The Breakfast Treatment’; he was subsequently strapped to a chair while all those who donated took it in turns to cover and smear him with water, orange juice, chocolate spread, baked beans, flour, eggs, jam and marmalade, all topped off with a sprinkling off cornflakes. Needless to say he’s still finding baked beans in places he didn’t know he had. What a good sport and what a great laugh!
Everest in a day
Our activity team put their heads together to come up with an active way of raising money for Suranna’s fund that would appeal to their love of the outdoors. The result of much deliberating was ‘Everest in a day’; to climb the height of Mount Everest (8, 848m from sea level to summit) on our 8 metre climbing wall in one day, each member of the team putting in 100 climbs during the day. In fact, not only did they achieve this height, but they went above and beyond equally a total height of around 12, 000 metres, and not only that but they fit this in around their normal camp duties. A massive well done and thank-you goes out to our activities team!
With a few weeks still to go we are well on our way to reaching the target of £5000.