Good News of the Week: Camo Cares Raises $158,000 for Veterans and Children

| July 5, 2016

13592558_10209813745437917_7594398441260760882_nFRYBURG, Pa. (EYT) – The eighth annual Camo Cares event held on June 25 raised $158,000.00 to benefit wounded veterans and children suffering from life-threatening illness.

(Photos: courtesy of Jason Say)

Wired Outdoors President Jason Say told exploreClarion.com, “We are so very pleased and proud to present the final mind blowing amount of money raised this year at Camo Cares! With the help of the community and people all across the country, we raised $158,000.00….Camo Cares is a 100% volunteer organization, and 100% of the money goes to the vets and kids!”

The event, that was held at the Fryburg Sportsman’s Club, had over 190 volunteers.

Clarion Co. 6-28

Camo Cares, an event presented by Wired Outdoors, hosts a range of activities in order to raise money to send these two groups on “a once in a lifetime outdoor adventure.”

The day included an archery shoot in the morning, followed by introductions from Camo Cares recipients, a raffle, and an evening musical performance by three bands.

The raffle gave away thousands of dollars in prizes, including guns, bows, and crossbows.

Say, along with Wired Outdoors Vice President Kyle Schwabenbauer, created Camo Cares in order to give back to the community. What began as sending one child on a hunt has turned into raising enough money to send hundreds of children and veterans from across the country on hunts.

“We live in a compassionate, compassionate community that genuinely wants to help people, and I think the two words that it comes down to me for is just compassion and gratitude,” said Say.

While Camo Cares raises as much money for as many recipients as possible, two children and one veteran are being spotlighted this year.

Tristyn Dennis, of Smethport, was diagnosed with AML Leukemia when he was 11 years old. He spent over six months at Children’s Hospital, receiving chemotherapy and other procedures to fight the disease. Tristyn is headed to British Columbia for a moose hunt.

Tristyn Dennis

Tristyn Dennis

Twelve-year-old Seth Apel, of Knox, had his arm severed below the shoulder when his sleeve got stuck in the PTO of a tractor last November. He was life-flighted to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, where surgeons reattached his arm.

Seth Apel

Seth Apel

“As far as the kids and what we do with kids, I always tell people I’m a dad,” Say explained. “I meet these families, and I meet these kids, and a lot of times the stories are just heartbreaking, what these kids have had to go through and suffer and do, and I think for me and most everybody who is involved, it simply comes down to compassion.”

This year’s featured veteran, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Joseph Masseur, was wounded in Afghanistan when his MRAP vehicle rolled over an IED. He sustained severe injuries to both legs, which required seven surgeries to repair and included the amputation of his left leg below the knee. Masseur also suffered a traumatic brain injury and spent two years in rehabilitation when he returned home. He has received numerous combat awards for his service.

U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Joseph Masseur

U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Joseph Masseur

“For a veteran, it just simply comes down to gratitude. It’s just our way of saying that these guys have done so much, and it seems so little what we do for them for what they sacrifice for us. But, at the end of the day, the only thing I can say about what we do for the veterans is just flat out gratitude,” Say said.

The first Camo Cares event in 2009 raised $20,000.00 and has been steadily increasing ever since. Last year, the event raised $125,000.00.

“There’s never been anybody who came to Camo Cares that didn’t want to come back,” said Say. “When you come to it, it is really something very special with these kids and these vets and what we’re doing. I would just encourage everyone to come out and join us and have fun that day.”

For more information on Camo Cares, visit www.wiredoutdoors.com.


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