Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) Care Camps, a national nonprofit supporting free medically-supervised outdoor adventure experiences to kids with cancer and their families, has named Jennifer Mercer, a professional fundraising and marketing executive, as its first director of development.

According to a press release, KOA Care Camps provides funding to more than 135 oncology camps nationwide, sending thousands of children with cancer and their families on summer-camp-style adventures.

“It’s a great joy to see children who are enduring so much get a rare chance to just be regular kids,” said Jennifer. “I’m committed to partnering with generous donors, companies and philanthropic organizations to give every deserving kid the chance to attend a Care Camp. It’s gratifying to see the satisfaction our benefactors gain when they understand the significant impact they can make by joining with us in this work.”

Karen McAndrew, executive director of KOA Care Camps, noted, “Unfortunately, the need for support for oncology camps nationwide outweighs the available resources, and many children have been turned away due to the lack of funding. The strategic move of our board to hire a director of development will help us maintain consistency in the marketplace, build stronger relationships with our partners, and ensure that any child who has a desire to experience the healing nature of camping has the opportunity.”

Prior to joining KOA Care Camps, Mercer worked as a strategic business and marketing consultant for corporations and nonprofits around the region. She also filled in as a host for a TV segment, “Montana Matters,” spotlighting Montana businesses and nonprofits for a CBS affiliate KTVQ in Montana.

She also served as Executive Director of The Historic Billings Depot, the region’s largest community-owned historic complex of buildings, tripling revenue for its special events venue. She established a series of profit-generating fundraising events and earned the venue numerous accolades.

After graduating from Montana State University-Billings, she worked in the pharmaceutical sales arena for almost a decade.