Winter 2014 newsletter


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Welcome to the Goodtimes Wine Auction's Winter 2014 newsletter. In this issue, you'll find updates from this year's Wine Auction Event Chair and more.

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Winter 2014 newsletter

  1. 1. Vol 1 - 2014 Winter Newsletter 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
  2. 2. 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 Goodtimes. 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 Camp Goodtimes. 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. Astrid Uka 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! Sincerely, Astrid Uka 2014 Goodtimes Wine Auction Chair
  3. 3. K Camper Feature: Katie Elliot - by Paul “Mooselips” Dudley atie Elliot is a warrior. In December 2010, Katie Elliot, a then 14-year-old Anchorage native, was recovering from surgery to correct severe scoliosis, which 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 Katie. 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 the norm. 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 steadfast supporter. 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 Facebook friends. 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
  4. 4. 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 Cruise. 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 doesn’t exist.” Katie once told me with a shrug and a sly smile, “I have 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.
  5. 5. C 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 season continue! 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 more. 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.