Fundraiser aims to raise awareness about camp

By | November 16, 2010

The State News

The dulcet tones of Hanson’s “MMMbop” could be heard blaring from a boombox Monday afternoon at the Wells Hall bridge as student volunteers attempted to raise money and awareness for children whose parents have or have had cancer.

The musically-inclined Stop the Bop fundraiser was hosted by members of the MSU chapter of Camp Kesem. Camp Kesem is a national, student-run organization that provides weeklong summer camps free of charge to children whose parents have been adversely affected by cancer. The MSU chapter is one of 27 campus chapters nationwide.

Student volunteers handed out flyers and candy to passersby at the Wells Hall bridge and said they would play “MMMbop” on repeat until they collected a reasonable sum of money to go toward Camp Kesem’s cause.

Nutritional sciences junior Dan Bator said this event was the kickoff for Krazy Kesem Week, a weeklong string of fundraising events for Camp Kesem. Other planned events include a cookie stand Wednesday at the rock on Farm Lane and a barbecue on Friday.

Bator said he has been involved with Camp Kesem for three years and has been a counselor at Michigan’s Camp Kesem in Twin Lake, Mich., for two years. He said being a counselor for the camp was the highlight of his summer and benefited the students who volunteered as well as the kids who participated.

“(It’s a) great way for students to give back to the community,” Bator said. “Throughout the year, we’re trying to get new counselors and kids involved.”

Criminal justice junior Alex Monyhan, one of the student leaders for the MSU chapter of Camp Kesem, said the group is doing Krazy Kesem Week to raise awareness of Camp Kesem on campus.

“Our main goal this year is for every single person at MSU to know what Camp Kesem is,” Monyhan said.

Monyhan said the MSU chapter of Camp Kesem’s monetary goal for the year is $30,000. The money will go toward facilities for this summer’s camp and keep the camp free for participants. The group has collected about 15 percent of that amount thus far.

The Stop the Bop fundraiser gained the attention of many students and inspired some to donate. Apparel and textile design junior Korey Williams had never heard of Camp Kesem before, but he said he decided to donate because he felt it was a worthy cause.

“I’m lucky enough that I don’t know anybody with cancer or anything in my family — I can only imagine what (kids who attend Camp Kesem) are going through,” Williams said. “I feel like I should do anything I can to help.”

Members of Camp Kesem will hold an open informational meeting 7:30 p.m. Thursday at 107 South Kedzie to answer public questions about the organization and to invite interested students to become counselors for this summer’s camp.