Susan L. King, Camp Dogwood Director
At the Camp Dogwood office in early October we (Susan King, Camp Dogwood, Director and Keisha Ramseur, Camp Dogwood Secretary) received an invitation to the “Connecting Charlotte” event on November 15th. We were surprised and delighted to find that Camp Dogwood had been chosen as a Connecting Charlotte Present Program Honoree. Connecting Charlotte is an annual event, dedicated to connecting the Charlotte non-profit community, hosted by Playing for Others (PFO); a Charlotte based non-profit organization that is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of leaders, philanthropists and compassionate human beings. During Connecting Charlotte, PFO honors twelve non-profit organizations using slam poetry performances and photography all created by exceptionally gifted PFO teens. These are our annual honorees. They also use this time to honor twelve local organizations that were handpicked specifically by our PFO teen participants. Earlier this summer, the PFO teens were given a list of all of the non-profit organizations in Charlotte. Each teen then picked the organization that they felt connected to. At their annual retreat, they pitched this non-profit to their peers. In these heartfelt pitches, teens shared their own personal reasons for why they believed that our camp program deserved to be a Present Program honoree. Out of a total 70 pitches, the Camp Dogwood for the Blind & Visually Impaired program was one of the 12 non-profits chosen to be a Present Program honoree. PFO teen member Anna Brunson was our advocate in this process. Keisha and I met Anna that night, and she shared her story with us. Anna’s mother is a clinical psychologist who happens to be deaf. Several of her clients have participated in the summer camp program and the annual deaf blind retreat. So, for Anna choosing us was very personal. She felt that not only is the Camp Dogwood program essential in the visually impaired and deaf community, but additionally she could honor her mother and her mother’s work by choosing us. At the event Anna stood up in front of the large crowd and shared her story before presenting us with a check. It was a marvelous evening. See pictures from the event on the Camp Dogwood Facebook page.