Community project benefits children at Indiana’s Royal Family Kid’s Camp

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on July 26, 2017 with No Comments

Kiwanis Club members present Connie Ellefson with a check for $250 for Royal Family Kids Camp.

Connie Ellefson, longtime Kiwanis member and community philanthropist, led a service project at the July 18th Portage Kiwanis Club breakfast meeting to benefit campers at the Royal Family Kid’s Camp.

Royal Family Kid’s Camp is a Christian-based camp for children 6-12 years old in the foster care system.  Campers are treated to a week of outdoor recreation, crafts, songs, and other activities.

“And don’t forget love,” stated Ellefson who has served as a camp counselor for over 10 years.  “Some of these kids have been moved from home to home and haven’t had a chance to feel secure and loved.  We make sure each camper gets plenty of attention, respect and appreciation for who they are.  We make them feel special; it’s hard for these kids to find that when they don’t have a stable home life.”

Ellefeson, who also represents Portage Kiwanis at Opportunity Enterprises’ Aktion Club meetings, brought decorated bags and treats to the Kiwanis meeting and asked members to fill each bag with treats for the campers.  Aktion Club members decorated the bags and brought in trinkets to include in the bags. Candy, puzzle books, and granola bars are included in the bags.

Shannon Burhans, past Kiwanis president, remembered some of the various ways club members have contributed in the past, “Since we roughly know the gender and age of most of the kids who will be attending camp, we are able to customize our gifts.  For example, one year the club donated 80 pairs of flip flops so each child had a new pair to use at camp. Shopping for flip flops was a lot of fun,” Burhans said.

Several of the approximately 80 children in attendance arrive to camp with little more than the clothes on their back.  Camp volunteers accept donations of bathing suits, soap, shampoo, blankets, and crafts. Along with material donations, the Portage Kiwanis club also supports the camp financially, this year donating $250.

Phil Linoski has been volunteering at the camp for 12 years, serving in many positions ranging from camp guide to wood shop staff to member of the NW Indiana Royal Family Kid’s Camp Board of Directors.  Linoski  explained that even though the camp serves children in the foster care system, Royal Family Kids Camp is an independent 501©3 organization and all financial donations are tax-deductible.

“Donations are critical,” said Linoski. “The camp wouldn’t happen without them.”

Volunteers raise money and accept donations throughout the year.  Financial donations may be sent to First United Methodist Church, c/o Royal Family Kids Camp, 352 S. Main St., Crown Point, IN 46307.

Visitors are welcome to join the Portage Kiwanis Club at a breakfast meeting.  The club meets every Tuesday morning in the café at Porter Hospital-Portage Campus at 7:30 a.m.  To learn more about Portage Kiwanis Club, visit www.facebook.com/PortageK/.

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