On June 12th, members of the Centauri leadership team met some of
our trusted partners in the Adirondack Mountains for the The Lake Placid
Half Marathon. This premier race is held in the charming Olympic
of Lake Placid, New York USA home of the 1932 & 1980 Winter Games.
Our runners took pledges prior to the race which were matched by Centauri resulting in a $4,500 donation to The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota. The charity was chosen because it is near and dear to the heart of Corey McNitton, a partner who participated in this year's race. Cory's daughter, Lauren, has epilepsy and the organization provides donations to a summer camp for children with epilepsy each summer.
Pictured: xx, Rick Espino, xx show off their Team Centauri race shirts.
Pictured: Racers line up for the Lake Placid Half Marathon.
About Camp Oz and The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota
Camp Oz is a one-week camping program for children and teens, ages
8-17, who have epilepsy. It combines a traditional camp experience with
the security of a specially trained medical and behavioral staff.
Summer camp offers participants a chance to spend time away
from home, experience a variety of recreational activities, and make new
friends. Children and teens with seizure disorders may not always think
about going to summer camp because of their medical needs, but Camp Oz
addresses those concerns while remaining full of fun.
It costs around $1,800 to attend the camp, but campers only
pay $300. The additional money is paid through donations and sponsorships
including the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota.
The Camp's 152 wooded acres include a waterfront, rustic
cabins, a lodge for program activities, dining hall, centrally located
shower and toilet facilities, chapel, health service, arts and crafts
building, athletic field, and a small game area. Campers enjoy a unique
summertime experience, gain a better understanding of epilepsy, learn
more about their medications, and meet others who know what it's like to
live with seizures. Camp is usually held during the middle of June.
A special outdoor program encourages children to participate in a variety of activities:
I asked Lauren your questions and here are her answers:
· What is your favorite thing to do at Camp Oz? I really liked to ride the horses. It was really fun. We got to brush them and feed them treats, too.
· What is your best memory? Going to the art
building and finger painting with my cabin friends and counselors. We
got paint all over ourselves! It was so fun and I will remember it for a
very long time.
· Why is Camp Oz so special to you?
I liked finally meeting other kids that have epilepsy, too. It made me
feel better because for a long time I didn’t know anyone else who had
epilepsy, but now I know I’m not alone.
Here are mine:
· What do you like most about Camp Oz/what makes it so special?
I love that Camp Oz is just for kids affected by seizures (children
with epilepsy, as well as siblings who do not have epilepsy). They have
24 hour medical staff on hand to ensure the safety of all campers and
to me, that is amazing. They have nurses, physicians,
psychologists, a neurologist and pharmacists. That really provided
piece of mind for my wife and me as Lauren was away. We knew she was
having lots of fun and we also knew she was safe and cared for if
something were to happen.
· What has attending the camp done for your daughter?
Other than being just time to meet new friends and have loads of fun,
it has really made Lauren feel like she’s not alone in having epilepsy.
Prior to Camp Oz, she hadn’t ever met other kids with epilepsy. Being
at camp, surrounded by other kids who also have epilepsy, was a very
comforting and normalizing experience for her.
· Do you participate in any other fundraising events for the camp? The EFMN hosts an annual Rise
Above Seizures Walk during the summer in multiple locations in
Minnesota. This isn’t a fundraiser specifically for Camp Oz, but rather
for the EFMN as a whole. We had a team for Lauren a number of years
ago and it was a really great experience.