As many as 210 youngsters with cancer or a life-threatening diseases and their families attended a Grand County week of adventure, from July 31 to Aug. 4. The Grand County Summer Family Camp included many activities throughout the county thanks to area businesses and organizations.
In the past four years, the number of participants taking part in the Grand County outing has doubled, according to Cookie Ready, director of outreach programs for Shining Stars Foundation, the organization that hosts this event to give families needed respite from their normal schedules of hospitals, treatments and worry.
The gathering place for all the families was the Beavers Lodge in Winter Park. Families spent a day in Grand Lake, where they were given a pontoon ride, rode in go-karts, ate ice cream, had a Mexican lunch buffet, played arcade games, hiked Adams Falls, rode paddle boats and more. Their day in Winter Park at Winter Park Resort was filled with bike-riding, mini golf, the alpine slide, the climbing wall, and bungee jumping. They also took part in rafting while in Grand County, and some went to the Grand Park Community Recreation Center, some rode at the Sombrero Stables, fished at the Rendezvous Fishing Pond, attended the Cozens Ranch Museum, as well as enjoyed concerts in the park, shopping, Bingo and a rodeo.
As much as 95 percent of every dollar generated by the Shining Stars Foundation goes directly to children’s programs, according to Ready.
Many local foundations, organizations, businesses, and individuals donated money and time to host the families, or provided contributions such as discounted lodging, food, and activities. “The generosity of Grand County really shows during this five-day adventure,” Ready said. “What a wonderful place to live.”