Charity spotlight: Camp Barnabas

At Camp Barnabas, special needs kids receive a ton of attention in a fun environment.
At Camp Barnabas, special needs kids receive a ton of attention in a fun environment.

If you think about it, it’s incredible the way charities become a reality – and how they’re inspired. Cyndy Teas and her husband Paul launched Camp Barnabas after witnessing a young girl unable to attend camp.

Lauren Hauschild attended the Kanakuk Kamps for several summers but was diagnosed with cancer in 1992, when she underwent chemotherapy and ultimately lost a leg.

Still, she soldiered on. In camp 1993, toward the end of Lauren’s stay, she expressed that she just wanted to be a normal kid at camp. Asked what she envisioned, Lauren put it this way:

“Everyone would be in a wheelchair or on crutches. No one would care that your hair was missing from chemo,” Lauren said. “It would be easy for anyone to do all of the activities of camp. Cancer wouldn’t isolate you – it would unite you – and when you came home, you would be loved.”

These days, Camp Barnabas has been a significant, positive influence for children with disabilities, and the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is proud to have the charity on board again.

It's all smiles at Camp Barnabas.
It’s all smiles at Camp Barnabas.

In 1994 and 1995, the Teas rented a Kanakuk facility and hosted a camp for children affected by cancer or blood diseases, and their siblings. A year later, they purchased Soaring Hawk Camp near Monett and soon Camp Barnabas opened.

Camp Barnabas puts its PCCC donations toward the campers.

“We have so many ongoing expenses, the extras are hard for us to purchase,” said Krista Adams, director of development for Camp Barnabas. “But the extra things are what make the camp fun. It allows us to do things we normally don’t get to do.”

For the Kris Presley family, saying thank-you isn’t enough. You see, Kris adopted her son, Chance, when he was young and the medical outlook appeared tenuous, and then Camp Barnabas came into their lives.

“When I adopted Chance, he was 4 ½, and I was told he probably wasn’t going to live to be 5,” Kris said. “I didn’t think of letting him go anywhere. He’s medically fragile.

“But I talked to Camp Barnabas, and they assured me he would be OK.”

The camp has medical teams on site – perfect for Chance, who requires a feeding tube. Their good work with him and others led Kris recently to launch their own non-profit called Chance in Charge. A fundraiser led to two $12,000 donations, including one to Camp Barnabas.

“When I dropped him off (the first time), I stopped in the middle of the road and wanted to get him,” Kris said. “I didn’t, which was the best thing I ever did for him. At camp, he’s just normal. In the real world, people would wonder what’s wrong with him and stare at him. He’s just Chance at camp.”

Call it a great place indeed.

RISING STARS, RAISING HOPES

BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses also can support the PCCC through various sponsorships, such as the skyboxes on the 9th and 18th greens (with food badges), on-course signage and events such as a dozen Pro-Ams. Businesses also can donate a gift card with at least a $25 value in the name of your charity of choice to benefit them in the Golf Ball & Charity Auction presented by Copy Products, Inc. and University Plaza.

The Ultimate sponsorship means air-conditioned seating on the 18th green and a chance to win a Corvette Stingray.
The Ultimate sponsorship means air-conditioned seating on the 18th green and a chance to win a Corvette Stingray.

WIN A NEW TRUCK: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket can win one of 500 daily gift cards as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2016 Ford F-150 XLT. It’s also good for a four-day tournament pass.

Win this truck or $10,000 in the TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes, with a $25 buy-in.
Win this truck or $10,000 in the TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes, with a $25 buy-in.

SEE THE FUTURE OF THE PGA TOUR: The PCCC is from Aug. 5-15, with the pros beginning play on Aug. 11 at Highland Springs Country Club. For tickets or other ways to assist, call the Price Cutter Charity Championship staff at 417-887-3400.

Dawie vander Walt shows his winners trophy after the final round of the Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield on August 16, 2015.
Dawie vander Walt won the 2015 PCCC. (Photo courtesy of StidzMedia)

HELP CAMP BARNABAS: The non-profit Christian ministry focuses on fun activities for kids with special needs and chronic illnesses. To help, call 417-476-2565.