People have donated more than $20,000 in the week since Camp Good Days’ began appealing for help after flooding damaged camp buildings on Keuka Lake. Former Buffalo Bills quarterback and cancer patient Jim Kelly shaved his head to raise awareness and money.
The camp, working to open in time for the arrival of 200 children, has an estimated $350,000 in repairs to do after powerful thunderstorms ruined the Branchport camp’s infrastructure earlier this month, officials said Tuesday.
About 60 to 70 volunteers have come each day to work on repairs that are especially important because of the sensitive health of campers. All buildings must be thoroughly cleaned and rebuilt.
Last year the camp hosted more than 1,500 children who have cancer. They traveled from all over the U.S. and foreign countries to participate in the free program.
“We are thrilled with the response to our appeal from Western New Yorkers, but we still have a ways to go if camp is to open on time,” said camp founder Gary Mervis. “We need more help to raise the necessary money and make repairs in less than one month.”
Camp Good days is a 35-year-old, volunteer-based organization with headquarters in Rochester and offices in Buffalo, Syracuse and Ithaca.