Camp Knutson Hosts “Night Under the Stars” Fundraiser
In Crosslake, there is a very special summer camp to make sure every child has an authentic Northern Minnesota Summer. This past weekend was the camp’s big fundraising event.
“It’s a place unlike any other,” said Camp Knutson Counselor Rachel Best.
Camp Knutson is a summer camp in Crosslake for kids with special needs. From Down Syndrome to heart conditions, there is a one week specialty camp for everyone.
“We have kids here with our skin camp that have never met another kid that had the same skin condition that they have,” Jared Griffin, the camp’s director, said.
“The heart kids, we call them, have the big scar down the middle of their chest, and I was the only person at that table that did not have that scar,” Shari Schumacher, the chairwoman for the “Night Under the Stars” event, said. “So, for them to be able to go into the water and not be stared at, not feel ostracized, and just feel like every other kid, that makes a huge difference in their life.”
On Saturday, Camp Knutson was transformed into a 1950s-themed camp for their “Night Under the Stars” fundraising event.
“I am in awe,” Best said. “Every year, I am so surprised at how many people are willing to come and donate and support camp. We couldn’t do this without all of their support, and so it’s amazing and everyone is so friendly, you just feel the spirit of camp.”
“Night Under the Stars” at Camp Knutson was an extreme success as community members showed outstanding gratitude, donating nearly $5000 during the live auction. This year, items that were donated included Minnesota Vikings tickets and jerseys, a one-of-a-kind fishing experience, and some handcrafted tables and benches.
Every year, the funds go towards something specific that the camp needs. “This year, it happens to be a storage facility and a maintenance facility for the camp,” Schumacher said. “So, we always have that specific need for the camp, and in addition to that, we raise money for horseback riding for campers who come and do not have the funds to go horseback riding.”
People also donated by buying a ticket to the event and through their silent auction.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about the kids; it’s about the mission,” Griffin said. “We’re serving kids who need this the most.”
The “Night Under the Stars” was a night full of giving and a reminder that inspiration can come from anyone.
The new facility that Camp Knutson is fundraising for is scheduled to be built in time for next year’s campers.