I write to you today from sunny Summerland Key, Florida. We are 4 miles from the Sugarloaf KOA and that is where our journey with Care Camps began. I had just met Anita and Gary, who were the managers at the time, and we agreed that my newly formed band would play at an event at their park. I had no idea how this was to change my life forever. It was a weekend fundraiser for KOA Care Camps.As the evening and weekend progressed, my wife, Cyndy, and I started learning more about what this Care Camp thing was all about. The more we learned, the more it was tugging at our hearts. We decided at that moment we were going to try and do our little part to raise money for this wonderful cause. The first year we raised $700. The following year it went up to $2,753 and we were invited to attend Convention in Houston where we actually met some of the kids. That was it, we were hooked. A friendly bet was placed with Okeechobee KOA manager Wendy Woodman that we would raise more money than her team the following year. I will never forget our flight home. Cyndy and I were trying to figure out how in the world we could ever raise that kind of money. Cyndy lit up and said, “At your shows, let’s auction off our margaritas from the old Johnson outboard motor blender.” Well, that started the ball rolling. We also started selling our turquoise hats for a $100 donation to Care Camp.
Dancing wearing turquoise hats
The next year, we raised $39,292, then $55,366 the following year and this year we raised $75,000. It is so humbling to see so many friends helping the cause. At each concert now, you will see a sea of those bright hats, and events all over the world are being held to help the kids. At this year’s International KOA Convention in Orlando, a world-record margarita was auctioned for $13,000. Also, 92 turquoise hats were sold and Cyndy sold her custom-painted hat right off her head for $1,000. How wonderful is that?
That day at the KOA came and went just like any other. However, there was something different. There was magic in the air. We have made countless lifelong friends, and embraced a cause that each person on this earth can relate to – helping kids that so desperately need it. Now, that is magic!
Cyndy and I would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year. Thank you for all you do.
VKR Camper #95B2D