2015-03-06 / Community

Local Fundraiser Aims to Continue to Send South Portland Students to Camp

South Portland, ME – A group of area residents has announced its plan to establish an annual golf outing and auction to raise funds that would continue to benefit Memorial Middle School students. For the last 6 years, Memorial Middle School students have taken part in a program that sends sixth-grade students to The Leadership School at Camp Kieve for four days of experiential learning and anti-bullying education.

John Clark, a resident of South Portland, became concerned when the program, which both of his daughters attended, faced being discontinued due to a lack of funding. “As students at Memorial, both of my daughters found the program to be incredibly valuable and memorable,” Clark said, “and educators were trying desperately to keep it going, but due to a lack of funds, it seemed to be in real jeopardy. It just occurred to me that it would be a significant loss to the community to see this program end.”

According to its website, “The Leadership School” at Camp Kieve benefits students by “developing leaders and strengthening communities by challenging students, teachers, and parents to take positive risks, set meaningful goals, make healthy decisions, all while being supportive team members…”

Clark and a team of volunteers have already begun the search for the appropriate golf course on which to hold the event, which will include a tournament as well as silent and live auctions. Currently, the team is in search of a presenting sponsor, as well as a host of other volunteer, sponsorship and donation opportunities.

The program costs well over $15,000 per year to maintain, but due to financial difficulties, some money is owed on past years’ attendance. The team seeks to both clear up past debt as well as fund the program on a yearly basis. The goal, says Clark, is an event that can be replicated easily, “What we’re aiming to put together is a successful event that local businesses are excited to get behind and support, and that can be put together relatively easily year after year. The cause, quite simply, just couldn’t be better.”

About Camp Kieve: www.kieve.org/
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