AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Jun 11, 2013) - The LIVESTRONG Foundation's partner Camp Kesem is accepting votes for the best laugh in its "Give a Laugh" contest through its Facebook page until June 15. In honor of Father's Day, the contest gives families affected by cancer the gift of hearing their children's laughter, and encourages the public to spread the laughter to generate enthusiasm for the camp's mission. Camp Kesem, a non-profit organization led by college students, starts its camp season nationwide this month and offers free, week-long summer sessions for children who have been affected by a parent's cancer. Several locations are still accepting applications at CampKesem.org.
"No child should have to face cancer. Camp Kesem is here to ensure they never have to face it alone," said Camp Kesem CEO Jane Saccaro.
"We are thankful for the opportunity to work with Camp Kesem, a first-class organization whose critical services advance our mission to support those affected by a cancer diagnosis today," said Devon McGoldrick, director of programs for the LIVESTRONG Foundation. "Children's emotional needs are often overlooked when a parent is facing a cancer diagnosis, and Camp Kesem helps those children manage their personal situations in trying times. With camp season upon us, we are delighted to know that thousands of children across the nation stand to benefit from Camp Kesem this summer."
Since 2010, the LIVESTRONG Foundation has provided more than $600,000 to help expand Camp Kesem's services, leading to the creation of 24 new college-based chapters by 2014. With this year's Community Impact Project grant, the LIVESTRONG Foundation became the largest funder of camps for children whose parents or other family members are facing cancer in the U.S. Through the partnership, more than 3,000 children will participate in Camp Kesem activities including sports, arts and crafts and drama at 41 camps run by university chapters in 27 states.
In addition to serving children, Camp Kesem prepares and empowers a generation of college student leaders to be difference-makers and cancer care advocates. With the Foundation's support, Camp Kesem also trains participating college students to become LIVESTRONG Leaders and educate local schools, hospitals, cancer centers and community organizations about how the Foundation can help people facing cancer.
The LIVESTRONG Foundation has invested more than $80 million in community-centered organizations to support their efforts to help cancer survivors face the challenges and changes that come with cancer. In 2011 and 2013, Camp Kesem was selected as a model program as part of the LIVESTRONG Foundation's Community Impact Project, which provides financial support to bring proven cancer support programs to community organizations nationwide. The 2013 Community Impact Project will distribute more than $1.2 million to bring proven cancer support programs to 72 sites across the country.
About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
The LIVESTRONG Foundation provides free cancer support services to help people cope with the financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany the disease. Created in 1997 by cancer survivor and philanthropist Lance Armstrong, the Foundation is known for its powerful brand -- LIVESTRONG -- and for its advocacy on behalf of survivors and their families. With its iconic yellow LIVESTRONG wristband, the Foundation has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world. Since its inception, the Foundation has served 2.5 million people affected by the disease and raised more than $500 million to support cancer survivors. One of America's top cancer non-profit organizations, the Foundation enjoys a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and has been recognized by the National Health Council and the Better Business Bureau for its excellent governance, high standards and transparency. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org.
About Camp Kesem
Camp Kesem provides free summer camp experiences to children who have been affected by a parent's cancer. The camps are organized, operated and funded by the efforts of college student leaders throughout the country. Camp Kesem was started in 2000 at Stanford University, and since has spread to 54 college chapters. In 2013, Camp Kesem will serve over 2,800 children, ages 6-16, while providing opportunities for over 1300 college student leaders to channel their passion for giving back, while developing critical leadership skills. For more information, visit www.campkesem.org. Vote for the "Give a Laugh" contest at: http://campkesem.org/get-involved/give-a-laugh.