Forest River Inc., a manufacturer of RVs, buses, pontoon boats and utility trailers, is teaming up with Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) Care Camps to ensure that more children with cancer can experience the healing nature of camping through a newly created marketing collaboration, according to a press release.
Forest River will make a donation to KOA Care Camps for every RV, boat, bus and trailer sold during the next five years. The total donation is expected to exceed $1 million. Forest River officials said they expect the donation effort to continue well after the first five-year period.
KOA Care Camps supports more than 130 specialized oncology camps throughout North America that provide a true summer camp experience to children with cancer and their siblings. The camps are provided at no charge to the affected families.
“The costs associated with sending these special kids to these very specialized camps is continuing to increase,” said Wade Elliott, chairman of the KOA Care Camps board of directors. “All of these camps are depending on us to find new and innovative ways to raise funds for their support. Having Forest River join us in this effort is a huge step forward.”
“Forest River is committed to making a difference in the lives of children with cancer,” says Peter Liegl, CEO of Forest River. “I believe camping can be essential to your well-being, and we want to help create that experience for everyone — especially children who may not otherwise have the opportunity.“
“We are absolutely thrilled to have Forest River as a major corporate partner in supporting the KOA Care Camps mission,” said Karen McAndrew, executive director of KOA Care Camps. “We know from our research that children with cancer and their families who attend camp have improved quality of life and create memories that last a lifetime. Healing really does happen here.”
“Last year oncology camps requested more than $2.1 million to help provide a medically supervised camping experience for children with cancer and their families. We were not able to fully fund all of the requests,” said Elliott. “By establishing partnerships like this one with Forest River, we can rally the RV industry to ensure that more children with cancer can have a high quality, fun, and safe camping experience.”
The KOA Care Camps organization was founded in the early 1980s by the Kampgrounds of America Owners Association, working in conjunction with Kampgrounds of America, Inc. KOA campground owners throughout the U.S. and Canada hold fundraising events throughout the year to help support KOA Care Camps.
“These children are facing so many challenges in their young lives. It’s wonderful that another leader in te Outdoor Industry is stepping up to help is such a big way with this very worthy cause,” said KOA President and CEO Toby O’Rourke. “Because of this partnership, thousands of children in need will be able to enjoy a week of being ‘just a kid.'”