Central California Kids Will Enjoy Camp This Summer, Thanks to $15,000 in Scholarships

Online PR News – 04-June-2013 – Modesto, CA – More than 50 disadvantaged children from Modesto and nearby cities will get to sleep under the stars, share stories around campfires, and experience Camp Jack Hazard this summer, thanks to two local charities, and an enduring commitment on the part of several local civic leaders.

The majority of these camping grants were made possible by endowments established years ago by the family and friends of Bart Bennett and Robert Babington, Sr. After the YMCA closed its doors and sold the property located at the corner of Floyd and McHenry, several YMCA Board members made a commitment at the time to restore the endowment funds and ensure they would continue to provide Camp Jack Hazard scholarships. Dennis Wilson, Greg Reed and Allen Layman replenished the endowment funds and transferred them to Stanislaus Community Foundation.

For its part, Stanislaus Community Foundation has invested and grown the endowment funds over the last several years, and this summer, Wilson, Reed and Layman, serving as advisors to the endowed scholarship funds, chose from a number of applications to send over 40 kids to Camp Jack Hazard.

“I’m glad that we are able to honor the wishes of the original donors of these funds,” said Dennis Wilson, who served on the selection committee to choose campers. “It’s also gratifying to know that Camp Jack Hazard is operating and enriching young lives.”
Marian Kaanon, CEO of Stanislaus Community Foundation, also served on the selection committee, and noted, “We’re happy to administer these funds and be part of this life-changing opportunity for these young kids. As a Community Foundation, our goal is to ensure these endowed funds live on forever.”

Another 10 local kids will go to camp on scholarships from The Jack and Buena Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Camp Jack Hazard alumni and parents. Originally meant to help kids whose families can’t afford the cost of camp, The Jack and Buena Foundation has since expanded to manage the operation of Camp Jack Hazard as well.

“Camping is an eye opening experience for someone who has never done it before. It’s not just about discovering nature, it helps us discover ourselves,” said Skippy Williams, Executive Director of The Jack and Buena Foundation. “When you disconnect kids from their game consoles and cell phones and spend a few days living more simply, it gives them a chance to develop their own creativity. One of our campers last year wrote to us saying: ‘Camp has changed my life in one week. I can’t wait to see what it does in the years to come. Thank you for giving me a place to be me.’”

The camping scholarship programs will be available every year, with applications open from March through the middle of May. For more information visit www.campjackhazard.org.