Fun and games to support a special cause

Call it kids helping kids.

Gabby Wills

Hazelwood fifth-graders, community to hold benefit for Camp Korey

Call it kids helping kids.

Resourceful students, parents and volunteers at Hazelwood Elementary School have pulled together to put on Carnival Korey for Camp Korey.

Proceeds from Saturday’s lineup of fun and games will benefit fledgling Camp Korey – a summer retreat for children with life-altering conditions such as muscular dystrophy and cancer.

The camp is scheduled to open in July at Carnation Farm. It will serve children and families throughout the Pacific Northwest, and is a proposed affiliate of the “Hole in the Wall Camps,” founded by actor Paul Newman in 1988.

Worldwide, 10 such camps exist, serving nearly 10,000 children each year.

The carnival at Hazelwood was the brainchild of fifth-graders Taylor Lehman and Gabby Wills, whose families wanted to support Tim Rose and his family, of Auburn. Rose is the founder of Camp Korey, named in honor of his 18-year-old son Korey, who died four years ago of bone cancer.

“We wanted to do something to help out,” Taylor said. “It’s surprising to see what happens when you ask people.”

Added Gabby, “You really get to see how much people are willing to help.”

Tammy Lehman took her daughter to a Camp Korey fundraising event last October. It struck a chord. Tammy Lehman, who works for Tim Rose’s brother, Jim, decided to put on a fundraiser at the urging of her daughter.

“Gabby and I knew that we wanted to help these kids, so we came up with the idea of a carnival,” Taylor said.

Tim Rose didn’t catch wind of the event until a few weeks ago. He was humbled.

“It is something special they are doing there,” Rose said from Carnation, where he is continuing work on his camp project. “We just think it’s fantastic, and we’re real proud that people 11 or 12 years old are learning the philosophy of giving back and helping out in their community. It’s a great tribute to them.”

The camp will provide a respite from the ongoing medical visits and other worries that accompany childhood illnesses and will give children a significant dose of hope and fun, camp organizers explained.

The camp will offer outdoor activities, swimming, boating, horseback riding, arts, crafts and more.

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