BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A camp that gives an escape to children fighting cancer might not open on time this year, because of storm damage. Camp Good Days and Special Times officials say severe thunderstorms that rolled across the area last week caused about $350,000 in damage. The flooding ruined the camp’s infrastructure, flooded several buildings and damaged other facilities at the property.
Camp Good Days Founder Gary Mervis said, “I don’t know when I’ve been so overwhelmed by the devastation. All I could do is go to my car in the parking lot and I just broke down and cried.”
Gary Mervis said he hasn’t cried that hard since his daughter Teddy died from pediatric cancer 32 years ago. Mervis founded Camp Good Days, providing children with cancer a week-long summer camp, along Keuka Lake, free of charge.
Camp is scheduled to open at the end of June, but with so much damage and a small budget, opening week is questionable, leaving campers like Kayla Tiedemann in limbo.
Theresa Tiedemann is her mother. She said, “Kids with cancer, they deal with too many difficulties, camp provides only good days.”
Parents and staff alike are hopeful good days are on the horizon, and are pleading with the public for help. You can donate on CampGoodDays.org.
Camp Good Days says dozens of volunteers turned out to flush mud out of buildings, clean mold and rebuild what could be done by hand. The rest of the work will require money to pay professionals.
The Camp Good Days 13th Annual Black Tie Gala is June 21st at the Hyatt Regency, in downtown Buffalo. However, without an extraordinary effort from loyal funders and new contributors and sponsors, the camp may not open in time. The camp needs to rebuild in time to reopen for 200 children and their families on June 28th. Staff training begins June 23rd.