Vol 1 - 2014
We are committed to continuing Camp Goodtimes and, yes,
the Goodtimes Wine Auction is on!
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Washington Athletic Club
In this issue
Letter from the Chair . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Camper Feature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Camp Goodtimes Report . . . . . . . . . 5
Letter from the 2014 Goodtimes Wine Auction Chair
This past year has been truly
tumultuous. The 10th Annual
Goodtimes Wine Auction happened
in April 2013 and was a huge success.
In July and August, thanks to all of
you, we were able to serve 225
children and their families at Camp
this mission in mind, The Goodtimes
Project was founded as a 501(c)3
non-profit and has formed an
autonomous board to ensure camp’s
future. And – we have agreed to
continue the Annual Goodtimes Wine
Auction as the No. 1 fundraiser for
As a reminder, Camp Goodtimes
I am proud to be part of the Camp
West offers free-of-charge children’s
Goodtimes community and honored
oncology camps for patients and
to be this year’s Wine Auction chair. In
siblings from Western Washington
March 2001, I lost my cousin to brain
and Alaska, ages seven to 17 years old,
cancer. She was only 32 years old.
for two separate weeks. This year, our
It is in her memory, and along with
2014 Wine Auction Event Chair
task of raising funds for this worthy
a truly amazing team of dedicated
cause is ever more important. Last year, the American
volunteers, that I embark on this exciting journey to
Cancer Society, the former supporting foundation for
secure the future of Camp Goodtimes.
Camp Goodtimes, informed us that they would focus
their program of work on proven science programs,
I invite you to join us on April 5, 2014 at the
discontinuing all youth oncology camps throughout
Washington Athletic Club in Seattle for this year’s
the United States effective December 31, 2013.
auction. This highly anticipated event features a variety
of donated items such as exquisite wine, wine-related
experiences, trips, accommodations, game tickets,
and countless other packages. We encourage you to
become or continue to be a part of this fundraising
event for Camp Goodtimes.
While we agree with ACS that Camp Goodtimes
will not directly provide the medical cure for cancer,
we believe that the love, laughter and community
of camp are irreplaceable to both the children who
attend and their families. Camp fights to bring their
childhood back, even if it is only for a short time. With
With this special year in mind, please give generously.
YOU can create a lasting legacy with your
contributions - either through a donation, volunteer
time or your attendance at the event. Every dollar
raised helps to ensure that camp remains a magical
experiencee for the many pediatric cancer patients,
survivors, siblings and families that it serves. We are
humbled by your continued support and generosity.
We look forward to seeing you in April!
2014 Goodtimes Wine Auction Chair
Camper Feature: Katie Elliot - by Paul “Mooselips” Dudley
atie Elliot is
2010, Katie Elliot,
a then 14-year-old
from surgery to
had caused a 53º
curve to her spine.
In just a few weeks
the ninth grader had made a full recovery. Less than
one year later, however, things changed dramatically for
Her mother, Darlis Elliot, recalled, “After experiencing
persistent pain in her left knee in October 2011, Katie’s
pediatrician noticed that there was ‘something funny
on her tibia’. After an X-ray and MRI, the pediatrician
confirmed that she had osteosarcoma and needed
to get to Seattle Children’s as soon as possible. Katie
didn’t shrug it off, but didn’t freak out either. Halloween
found us on a plane to Seattle for a bone tumor clinic
the next day.”
On January 18, 2012, she had “limb salvage” surgery to
save her left leg. Before advancements in treatment had
been made for “osteo kids” like Katie, amputation was
for a photo shoot. When they arrived, I was instantly
struck by Katie’s grace and poise as well as her very
strong bond with her mother - her strongest and most
Darlis said, “As a parent you just have to keep up.
Sometimes the professionals just don’t know what’s
best for your child. You have to learn a new language
and become what, in the cancer community is now
called, a ‘Momcologist.’ ”
We had such a great time in and around my studio
that day. Katie’s positive attitude and confidence were
so apparent in the photographs I took. She looked
every bit the warrior that I had heard so much about.
I stayed in touch and while they were still stuck in
Seattle awaiting Katie’s lung surgery, I invited them
to join me on the Annual Camp Goodtimes Holiday
Cruise provided by Argosy Cruises, one of Camp
Goodtimes longest-running supporters and donors.
I knew Katie would blend in well with the kids from
camp and I was hoping she could connect and make
new friends. The cruise was the day before her surgery,
but Katie showed no signs of being nervous. On the
boat it took all of five minutes for Katie to hit it off
with some girls her age. At the end of the night, they
were already texting each other and had become new
The original prediction of a seven-month stay in Seattle
for treatment turned out to be far too optimistic. In
October 2012, she received the devastating news
that her cancer had returned. They found tumors in
both lungs. Another major surgery was her only viable
option as chemotherapy simply didn’t work for her.
So for Katie, it was back to going to school inside
Children’s Hospital and anticipating another surgery.
This is when I was first connected with Katie and her
mother. I invited them out to my studio in Poulsbo
After the surgery, Katie was able to return home
to Alaska for Christmas and, although she still had
numerous visits to Seattle, she was able to finish her
sophomore year in Anchorage. In the spring, she signed
up to attend Camp Goodtimes
in July - and some of those kids
that met on the Holiday cruise
were actually her cabin mates!
diagnosis, prognosis or possible
future health outcomes. It was
about the here and now, living in
the moment and celebrating life.
At camp, Katie looked renewed
and relieved. Her new Camp
Goodtimes family and the
electric energy that fills the air
gave her the break and respite
she needed. She made many
new friends and became even
closer with the ones that she had
already met on the cruise.
The next hurdle for Katie is the
upcoming scans in January that
will look at the cancerous lesions
in her right lung to determine
if surgery is even an option.
Meanwhile, she is not sitting still.
Even though she just turned 17
years old, Katie has started a
bucket list just in case. She has
a trip to Mexico with her family
planned and she was back in
She returned to Seattle this fall
Alaska for Christmas. She told
to undergo scans that would
Katie and Mooselips busting out some “Gangnam Style” me that one of the big items
determine if her treatment was
on carnival day at Camp Goodtimes in July, 2013.
on her list is to return to Camp
working. Darlis was especially
Goodtimes in July 2014 to be in
nervous because if the present
the Leader in Training program (LIT).
protocol wasn’t working, Katie would not have many
more options for a cure. Sadly, in October 2013, the
scans revealed that her cancer was back for a fourth
Camp Goodtimes provides opportunities for kids like
time. Katie’s reaction was typical Katie. She simply said,
Katie to experience things and bond deeply with other
“Well, this sucks.....suckage.”
kids in ways that are just not possible anywhere else.
Major surgery was again her only option. In November
she had half of her left lung removed. Her recovery
caused her trip home to Alaska to be delayed but on
a brighter note, it meant she could reunite with some
of her Camp Goodtimes family on this year’s Holiday
Aboard the boat, Katie and the other kids found each
other like magnets and the evening was not about any
Katie loved camp. She recalls:
“Camp Goodtimes is great because it lets all of us get
away from the cancer world and just have fun for a
week. It’s a great time with lots of awesome people
and it’s really nice to be able to forget that you’re
sick…or used to be sick. It’s like, for that week, cancer
Katie once told me with a shrug and a sly smile, “I have cancer...so what, I’m still awesome.”
Paul “Mooselips” Dudley is a professional photographer and auctioneer, and has been a
Camp Goodtimes volunteer every year since it first started in 1984.
Camp Goodtimes Report - Gus “Beef” Peterson
AMP! CAMP! CAMP! CAMP! This was the cheer on our Facebook page as young campers recently learned that summer camp for children with cancer is on for 2014. The
reverberations from a wildly successful 2013 camp
The theme of this year’s resident camp was "Lights, Camera,
Action!" Special activities at camp around the theme included
instrument building, a storytelling performance by a Port Townshend storyteller, a Heart-Lighting Ceremony, Dream Boats, a
special photography and “backstage” activity, and much, much
The days were taken up with a variety of camp activities. Over
220 campers participated in arts and crafts, bike riding, boating, swimming, archery, sports, skits, meals and just lots of fun.
Campers also had fun with fishing, special cabin-specific activities,
the annual visit from the Vashon Fire Department (and splashing
under the fire truck's hose!), the Polar Bear swim, the Leaders in
Training Dinner celebration, of course the Argosy Cruise!
Gus “Beef” Peterson
Camp Goodtimes Program Director
Our young adult survivors’ kayak trip is a 6 day adventure of
camping and paddling in the San Juan Islands under the leadership of professional guides. This year, four volunteers and ten young adults paddled more than
35 miles, and saw river otter, a minke whale, and all kinds of incredible wildlife and scenery! Each
night was spent camping on Stuart, Jones, Turn and San Juan Islands, and digging in together as
childhood cancer survivors.
What have we been up to since then? The deposit has been paid to Camp Burton for 2014, so
Camp is on!!!! Mooselips and Argosy hosted the 24th annual Holiday Cruise over Thanksgiving
weekend, which brought camp families and volunteer staff together for a fantastic evening of sharing, prizes, dancing, and the always-unforgettable Mooselips Rap! Our 3rd Annual Recruiting Event
was held on January 11th at Georgetown Brewing, and we’re gearing up to accept volunteer staff
applications beginning in mid-January… and that’s just this month!
We couldn’t be more excited about the future, and are so thrilled to be digging in together to
make this incredible experience continue for the families who need it. Thank you all for your tireless enthusiasm for camp. It is truly remarkable to walk alongside you as we head into the incredibly promising future of The Goodtimes Project.