Volunteers Help Send Kids to Camp

KICKOFF–(l-r) Laurie Williams and Lt. Col. Bettie Love address the crowd at the volunteer luncheon.

by Judy Vaughn – 

The Golden State Division has committed to sending 180 children to community service camp at Redwood Glen this year; the next three months will be focused on fund raising for camp and as well as a strong back-to-school effort.

To kick off the campaign, the Army launched its campership appeal early at a special party, building on volunteer enthusiasm and illustrating with great audience participation that the Army is hard at work 365 days a year.

Captains Tim and Cindy Foley, divisional youth directors, sang the invocation with their family and led the audience in a number of familiar camp songs. “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands,” they entreated. And everybody did! One of the most enthusiastic was Laurie Williams, mother of comedian Robin Williams.

Almost 160 guests attended the party, billed as a “Thank You” luncheon but, in fact, an event geared to cultivating new friends. The theme highlighted the Army’s commitment to providing positive camping experiences for children headed for trouble–children in vulnerable situations–children in need of gentleness and peace, counseling and affirmation.

“Put your left foot in, Put your left foot out”…Some of the most reserved corporate executives remembered their youth and gave it a try. Sunbeams, Junior soldiers and children from Gatehouse for Homeless Families thanked them all.

Each guest had been asked to bring a friend. As a result, more than 70 people in the room were in a Salvation Army building for the first time, hearing the slogan, “Need Knows No Season.” Major donors, advisory board members, foundation directors, media representatives and volunteer groups attended. Banjos, a musical saw and tuba provided music and, in the end, Laurie Williams led the great AMEN.

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