Fundraiser for burn camp is a success
June 27, 2012
By Sebastian Moraga
NOTE: This story has been corrected since its original version
Now, Camp Eyabsut has 4,149 more reasons to stay open.
A two-day fundraiser for the North Bend-based camp for victims of life-threatening burns raised $4,149. The fundraiser included Mount Si High School cheerleaders at North Bend’s QFC, and a showing of “Men In Black III” at the North Bend Theatre.
“The Snoqualmie Valley opened its heart to the burn victims at Camp Eyabsut,” one of the cheerleaders, Avery Dahline, wrote in an email.
Donors offered cash contributions and shared stories about burn accidents affecting them or their loved ones.
“We were astounded by the community’s generosity!” the email stated. “A heartfelt thank you to all who donated!”
The goal of Camp Eyabsut and the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters is to raise $80,000 and as of June 18, $37,700 has been raised.
Nancy Mendoza, the former executive director of the Northwest Burn Foundation and a former camp manager, said the camp is “100 percent” happening this year.
Jeanette Day, the camp’s director, said corporate donations coming in July 1 will help fill the gap in donations.
The camp is scheduled for July 22-28 at Camp Waskowitz in southeast North Bend.
Assurances aside, the fundraiser in the Valley will continue in the Valley and beyond, Mendoza said.
The Mount Si Cheerleaders will sell rubber ducks throughout the summer for the Festival at Mount Si’s duck derby, scheduled for Aug. 10-12.
Money raised selling rubber duckies will benefit the camp.
Campers come from Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Oregon and Washington. When campers move out of the five states, the camp still flies them in.
“Once a camper, always a camper at Camp Eyabsut,” Mendoza said.
Campers’ ages range from 7-17.
For 24 years, the camp has provided children with severe burn injuries a place where they can feel like they belong. Eyabsut means “to rise above everything,” in the language of the Skagit tribe.
“We have seen these children and how happy they are and how uninhibited they are while at this camp,” said Leslie Dahline, Avery’s mom and the wife of a camp volunteer. “They get a new sense of self and they feel normal for the first time.”
The camp has evolved alongside the quality of treatment for burn victims, Mendoza said.
“What we have found from people who work in burn camps all over the country is that the number of people at burn camps has reduced over the years and that’s a good thing,” she said. “It means that burn prevention campaigns are working.”
“Young burn survivors,” she added, “are always welcome at Camp Eyabsut.”
On the web
People interested in signing up a burn survivor may get an application online at www.saveburncamp.org or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The website is also accepting donations.
Checks can be mailed to a Boeing Employees Credit Union account named “The Camp Eyabsut Benevolent Fund,” P.O. Box 97050, Seattle WA, 98124-9750, or hand-delivered at any BECU branch.