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Kicking off camp season with Sunshine Fund
Single dad thrilled kids will be out in nature this summer thanks to readers

Raymond Harvey cherishes the lifelong memories he created when he went camp in the fourth grade. During his three-day trip, the feeling of excitement to be away from home still lives with him.

“I remember the canoeing. I remember setting up the table. I remember everything. It was such a great experience,” Harvey said.

Now with three children of his own, Harvey has tried to fill the weekends with fun family activities, like trips to the museums and local carnivals. One of his favourite ways to make memories is hiking.

“I’m a bit of a hiker and we’ve done a few hikes to get out to Assiniboine Forest,” said Harvey. “The trip I liked the most is probably Pembina Valley when we all went to the lookout.”

Harvey’s children, Aury, 15, Tally, 14, and Xander,11, will be attending Camp Arnes this summer with the help of the Free Press Sunshine Fund.

 

That’s where Free Press readers come in. With your generosity, hundreds of children whose families can’t afford to send them to summer camp will get to spend time in the great outdoors. There are 32 camps to choose from.

 

Free Press editor Paul Samyn said the newspaper is honoured to continue the tradition of the Sunshine Fund, which has been such a success for the past 43 years.

“I’m always excited to kick off this annual ask of our readers because I know how supportive and generous they have been over the decades,” Samyn said. “As a former camper and camp counsellor, I know the difference the Sunshine Fund has made for generations of kids. And I know our readers will be there once again to deliver a summer filled with camping memories as special as the ones that Raymond Harvey cherishes.”

Dana Moroz of the Manitoba Camping Association calls donors the “heartbeat of the Sunshine Fund.”

“Without them, these kids would not benefit from a unique experience that attending camp offers, including a sense of belonging and community that they might not have elsewhere,” she said.

Harvey, a single parent, hopes his children will become closer with each other when they go to camp.

 

“When you’re gone, you’ll be happier to come back,” he said.

 

His children had been registered for summer camp years ago, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they couldn’t go.

 

“Everyone was very upset about that. I’m happy they are able to get a second chance to create those memories,” said Harvey.

 

When the family found out they were able to go to camp this year, they were delighted to hear the news.

 

Aury is most excited to make new friends, try new activities, and get a chance to continue her love of archery.

 

“We did a unit in archery at my school before and it seemed like I was the one who was doing it really well,” said Aury.

 

Harvey believes the chance to spend time outdoors is important for children when they grow up.

 

“Nature is life. You got to take that time, especially in our day and age, and soak it all in before it passes you by.”

 

Each year, the Sunshine Fund sends about 600 children to camps in Manitoba and Ontario.

fpcity@freepress.mb.ca

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Mike Sudoma/Free Press

Raymond Harvey is thrilled his children Aury (from left), Xander and Tally will experience camp this summer thanks to the Free Press Sunshine Fund.

By: Matthew Frank

HOW TO DONATE

Send cheques to the Winnipeg Free Press Sunshine Fund, c/o Unit 6-1110 Henderson Hwy, Winnipeg, MB, R2G 1L1

You can also call in with a credit card number to 204-784-1130. Donate online at mbcamping.ca by clicking on the “donate now” box and then going to the fund’s Canada Helps donation page.

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