Camp Kesem held "Kesemania," its annual week of fundraising and awareness efforts, this week, with the goal of increasing the number of campers attending the 2013 program, said Samantha Meeker, Camp Kesem co-chairwoman.
Camp Kesem, which means "magic" in Hebrew, is a national organization that holds an annual camp for children ages 6-16 whose parents have or have had cancer. The camp costs between $40,000 and $45,000 each year, Meeker said.
Members of the organization hope to expand the camp this year, from 56 campers to 70-75 campers, said Stella Han, a member of the student support team for Camp Kesem at Richmond. For that reason, there will be an extra effort surrounding fundraising. Han said they needed about $25,000 more to reach their goal this year.
Approximately 40 universities, including Duke, Northwestern and UVa., have a Camp Kesem program at their schools, Han said.
Over the course of the week, Camp Kesem hosted an a cappella show, an STC improv show and a 50/50 raffle, Meeker said. In addition to fundraising, Camp Kesem members invited students to apply to be counselors at the 2013 camp. Applications are due Feb. 10 and are available online. Hours completed with Camp Kesem can be counted toward Bonner hours, Han said.
Han said that their main objective had been to raise awareness for Camp Kesem and to educate students about its cause during Kesemania.
"My favorite part about Kesemania is telling people about Camp Kesem," Han said. "Many people don't really know what it means, so being about to show with them what we're about and grabbing their interest excites me."
Each of the four a cappella groups on campus performed at the free concert on Wednesday night. Han said she thought that the concert was one of the most popular Kesemania programs.
Senior Lucie Dufour, a member of the a cappella group Choeur du Roi, said performing in the show had hit close to home for many of the singers, as several of them had been affected by cancer.
"We applaud the work that Camp Kesem does," Dufour said.
Han said one thing she had been surprised about was the large expense of funding a summer camp.
"We're on our way, but we still have a long way to go," Han said. "I'm confident that we will reach our goal."
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