We recently had the honor of attending the annual Make the Magic fundraiser put on by the University of Oregon’s Camp Kesem organization. The event was held at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland on a Friday evening last month.
RFPIO has worked with Camp Kesem before, through the encouragement of our Customer Success Manager, Ryan Slee, who has been involved as a volunteer with the U of O chapter since 2012.
Kesem is a nationwide organization that conducts free summer camps for children dealing with the loss of a parent to cancer. Ryan is passionate about the organization and the kids they are able to support.
“Camp Kesem is a spot for the campers to seek strength, find strength in themselves, find strength in others, and build a long lasting support system with fellow campers who are going through the same thing.”
Through Ryan’s dedication we were introduced to Make the Magic, and were happy to offer our support, make up our own camp nicknames, and have some fun for this worthy cause.
About Make the Magic
This was a beautifully put together banquet that was well-attended by about 200 people. The posh Multnomah Athletic Club provided a perfect backdrop for an elegant evening with dinner, drinks, presentations from a camper and parent, and a silent auction to raise money for the organization.
At RFPIO, we keep it pretty casual, so it was nice to see the team dress up and bring their loved ones, especially for an important cause like this.
Over 5+ Million children have been affected by a parent’s cancer. – Camp Kesem website
One of last year’s campers spoke to the crowd about her experience at Camp Kesem and how it’s changed her life. She explained that because of her stepmom’s cancer, she has had to be strong for her younger siblings, and Camp Kesem has provided her with a chance to let down her guard, have fun, and connect with other kids who know what she’s going through.
Her stepmom followed with a presentation of her own about how brave her daughter has been in the face of this difficult situation. They were powerful stories that highlighted just how much these families are facing, and the relief that Camp Kesem provides.
The night closed out with a silent auction full of prizes like a wine tasting package and a set of Oregon Ducks football tickets.
Making an Impact
Ryan said it was one of their most successful fundraising events for Camp Kesem. “We are so pleased at the turnout and participation at this year’s Make the Magic. Through the silent auction, we raised $65,000, which is the highest amount we’ve ever raised and a record breaking number among the whole countrywide Kesem organization,” he said.
“I’m also very proud to report that we had a record number of camp counselor alumni attendees. People who get involved with this organization remain deeply connected to it.”
Ways You Can Help
There are several ways to support Camp Kesem. The University of Oregon chapter has created an Amazon Wishlist for this year’s camp, with items that you can donate directly. “These items are inexpensive and can go a long way in making it a memorable experience for the kids. The tealight candles are especially important because they are part of a remembrance ceremony. Any help is appreciated,” Ryan said. You can also make a monetary donation through Ryan’s fundraising page. Find your nearest Camp Kesem chapter here.
Magic events for the Kesem organization are held across the country throughout the year. You can see if there’s one near you on their events page.
The RFPIO team is proud to partner with Pledge 1% to support non-profit organizations on a quarterly basis. Take a look through our blog to see other orgs to which you can donate time, money, or resources.
If you belong to an organization that is looking for corporate sponsorship, please send information via email to Ava@RFPIO.com or call our RFPIO office line at 971-470-3112.