By: Max Liebel
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – On October 18, students and faculty all packed into the Kiernan Center, for a night of dancing and charity. Niagara’s Camp Courage Crew hosted its second annual Dance Marathon to raise money and support Camp Good Days, a camp for those with or affected by cancer. Going into the marathon, Camp Courage had already raised over 7,000 dollars of its 10,000 dollar goal. Student run activities and donation stations lined the walls of the main gym in efforts to raise money for the camp.
We spoke to some participants of the Dance Marathon about what the camp means to them. “Things like this are important to bring awareness to what these kids go through,” said Joi-Alexis Johnson, a senior at Niagara, “Nobody should have to go through this at all and nobody should have to do it alone. Were standing for six hours without a break, to hopefully give people a feel for how these kids facing these situations don’t get a break.” Gabriel Persch, a freshman at Niagara who was working the Dance Marathon, also weighed in on the event’s significance, “We have the privilege of going to college and I feel like that’s something thats taken for granted. So being able to give back to your community in any capacity is extremely important.”
Camp Good Days is a non-profit organization and relies on fundraisers and organizations, like Camp Courage, to sponsor its campers. The camp is in its 40th year and allows children of all age groups with cancer, or affected by cancer, with a place that they can engage with others in similar situations while enjoying a summer camp environment. Each week of the summer a new group of campers is brought in with a different set of circumstances. Whether its kids battling cancer, survivors of cancer, or those whose family members have been affected by cancer.
We spoke to Camp Courage President Audrey Dunn, a student here at NU and a former counselor at Camp Good Days on the importance of Camp Good Days and the work being done with Camp Courage. “ I was really inspired by the work the camp was doing and the kids that were there,” said Dunn “Some of these kids are eight or 12 years old and dealing with cancer, that’s terrifying and for a lot of people their worst nightmare. Camp Good Days offers these kids a support network and a place where they can meet others in their situation. There’s not many places where people can go and talk about these situations with others so openly and allowing them to have that place is one of a kind.”
If you’re interested in donating to the camp or volunteering, you can go to www.campgooddays.org or call their main offices at 585-624-5555.