Thursday, July 26, 2012

Camp Jake : : RYLA youth making a difference

Shawn hugging Frenel during our visit to St. Vincent's
(Photo by Howard Chen)
Each year, young people from Louisiana and Mississippi take part in Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). Participants are chosen for their potential as leaders and attend an all-expenses-paid seminar/camp to discuss and cultivate their own leadership skills. These participants are responsible for raising money for a specific charitable cause. 

This is the second year that our own Camp Jake has been selected as RYLA's charity of choice. We are excited to share that the 2012 delegation of 70 RYLA youth—the largest in its history—raised $12,500 for The Red Thread Promise, far exceeding their goal. We are thrilled and humbled by these young people's enthusiasm and dedication to helping others. Through the stories shared on our blog and by the voices of our counselors, we hope that these youth understand how big of an impact their fundraising efforts are making on disabled children in Haiti.

On hand to speak to the group at RYLA's 20th anniversary celebration were:
  • Tom Landry, Camp Jake Founder and Director
  • Shawn Richard, uncle to Jake (Camp namesake) and July :: 2012 counselor
  • Matt Ward, January :: 2012 counselor and July :: 2012 Assistant Camp Director
Over 200 people gathered at the Audubon Tea Room in New Orleans to celebrate and learn more about the most recent session of Camp Jake. Shawn spoke to the group about the inception of Camp Jake as well as the impact on the campers from St. Vincent's Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince who attended. Proceeds from the evening will also benefit Camp Jake in addition to their more than generous donation.

Special thanks to Lisa Flair, outgoing RYLA Director for the past 20 years and Hope Wright, the incoming Director for their work with Tom and The Red Thread Promise. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with this dynamic organization.

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