open Camp AsthmaCadabra so that asthmatic children could experience summer fun in a safe environment.
The camp is fully staffed around the clock with doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and camp counselors, Kate explained, adding that all the staff are volunteers, donating their time to provide a camp experience that asthmatic children otherwise probably wouldn’t have.
The campers not only get to have fun through swimming, boating, and art activities, but they learn ways to manage and understand their asthma through education sessions. Through this experience, the children gain self confidence.
“Their asthma is more regulated when they’re there than when they’re at home,” Kate noted, adding that connecting with others in the same condition helps the children make lifelong friends.
The camp has been held every August for 17 years, at the YMCA’s Camp Kresge in White Haven. Kate attends each year, she said, and younger campers also return as they get older, to be counselors.
“We always receive letters from children and parents about how much they’re enjoyed the camp,” Kate said.
The American Lung Association is a co-sponsor of Camp AsthmaCadabra, which is the only camp of its kind in the area. The camp is also funded by the Max and Lorraine Foundation, an organization that raises money to help educate and support people with asthma.
In addition to the camp, Kate volunteers for the McGlynn Learning Center, an after-school program for at-risk children and teens. She’s also a board member of the Wilkes-Barre YMCA and is involved in many fundraisers for the organization.
Kate also raises scholarship money for St. Jude students, on behalf of Lorraine and Max. “She was such a good student,” Kate recalled of her daughter.
Kate has lived in Mountain Top her whole life. She helps run the family business, Button Oil, which has been around for 70 years. “I’m still in the office every morning,” Kate said. “I get the mail, I make the coffee…”
Three of her grandchildren now run the business, which sits behind Kate’s house on Main Street. All of her family is extremely close, she said, and is proud of the good work that is done in Max and Lorraine’s names.
For more information on CampAsthmaCadabra and the Aug. 6 to 9 session, visit campasthmacadabra.org.