By Steve Guntli
Birch Bay’s Lions Club Camp Horizon is in need of help from the community to ensure it opens this summer.
Since 1974, the camp has provided safe summer activities for people of all ages with mental or physical disabilities. Now, camp directors say they need $45,000 by March 15 or the camp won’t be able to open for the summer 2016 season.
“Many of our campers travel from out of state to attend camp and would devastated to learn they won’t be seeing their camp friends this year,” said camp director Emily Dickson. “Camp Horizon plays a very important role in the lives of our campers, parents, caregivers, volunteers and staff.”
The county fire marshal recently ordered the camp’s manager and board of directors to replace 72 dormitory windows with custom egress windows before the new season. Egress windows are designed to provide a means of escape in an emergency. Camp leaders need to raise the required $45,000 by March 15 to ensure the windows will be installed by the start of the season in July.
So far, the camp has raised about $16,000 for the project, including $2,200 contributed to its GoFundMe.com page. Dickson said she’s optimistic they will be able to reach their goal.
“We’ve had many donations from our Lion’s Clubs and our GoFundMe page, and we just partnered with Verizon Wireless, which will be collecting donations from its customers between now and March 15,” she said.
In addition to the Verizon partnership, Dickson said the camp has teamed up with Value Village. Camp Horizon is collecting items for Value Village, which will be donated in exchange for windows.
To help reach their ultimate goal, camp directors have implemented a “Sponsor A Window” program. A $600 donation will allow the camp to install a window, as well as a small bronze plaque on each windowsill dedicated to the donor.
To make a donation, visit lionscamphorizon.org for information, or visit gofundme.com/xfeyehf4 to donate directly.