| Sep 11, 2008

Sept 11, 2008 - Good Deeds at Desert Lake Resort

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Feature Article - September 11, 2008 Good times and good deeds at Desert Lake Family ResortBy Julie Druker

Desert Lake Resort campers meet for a photo at"the Hub" prior to presenting their $12,000 donationto Alastair Lamb of KGH.

This past Saturday night there were presentations and celebrations at the Desert Lake Family Resort near Verona for what has become a regular annual happening there.

The event was a chance for the regular campers and staff to conclude another season of fun in the sun, but it was also a formal opportunity to conclude their summer-long fundraising efforts for cancer.

Seasonal campers presented three cheques of $4000 each to Alastair Lamb, a resident of Sydenham and the program director for Oncology at Kingston General Hospital.

The first cheque was made out to “People Helping People”, a program at KGH where patients and their families can acquire any financial support they might need while going through cancer treatment.

The second cheque was made out to the Kingston Cancer Clinic specifically to purchase new chairs for the waiting rooms, which one camper noted “were in dire need of upgrading.”

One of three $4000 cheques presented by Desert Lake Family Resort campers to Alastair Lamb, program director of Oncology at KGH.

Long-time seasonal camper Kelly Anscombe was deeply touched by the third and final $4000 cheque made out to St. Mary’s of the Lake Palliative Care Unit in Kingston, specifically for a lift chair. The donation was made in memory of her father, who passed away this year after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

The fundraising efforts have been going on at the resort for the 30 years that Marni and Bill Pedersen have run the business. These efforts have continued since the Pedersen’s retirement. The couple’s daughter and son-in-law, Sally and Brett Coleman, took over the business three years ago.

The efforts are a combination of creative events that occur regularly throughout the summer and which are organized by various seasonal campers who have been camping at the resort for years.

Campers Jim and Pam Lindsay of Kingston have been putting on the beef BBQs for many years and managed three in total this summer.

June Goodberry and Beryl Dobb hold Saturday teas for a small fee. Fines are levied when less than appropriate comments are made by any of the attendant ladies and that is how they raise their donations.

Warren Blakslee, Simone Glendinning and Stephanie White gathered pledges from campers and staff and then gathered in the pavilion for the ever-popular public head shaving. They raised $3000.

Other events included a summer-long bottle drive, run by Dwight Hollywood, which raised $1000. Poker runs, bingo, a silent auction, a book sale, a turkey dinner, and horse shoe tournaments were other popular events that raised money for the cause.

A favorite event is the “Dream Site Lottery” where campers purchase tickets and the winner gets their campsite paid for the entire season.

Marni Pedersen commented on how easy it is to organize the events since “All of the campers take charge of their own individual events and manage them throughout the season.”

Once the cheques had been presented, the campers and staff gathered at the resort’s main pavilion for a meal of clam chowder, drinks, mingling and dancing to the music of DJ Bill.

Alastair Lamb of KGH was very grateful for the donations presented by the campers. “It’s great to see this type of grassroots support coming from regular people in the community. These are the people who make a real difference.”

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