Camp Goodtimes for children with cancer will keep rolling in 2014 but at a new location.
YMCA of the Inland Northwest will take over operating the annual summer camp at its Camp Reed, 30 miles north of Spokane.
The future of the program was in question after the American Cancer Society announced last year it would no longer fund summer camps so it can focus on cancer research.
But agencies including the YMCA, Coaches vs. Cancer-Spokane, Ronald McDonald House and Cancer Care Northwest stepped forward to help.
The camp was transferred to the YMCA on Jan. 1 and has enough money now to run for at least three years, said Jerid Keefer, regional coordinator for Coaches vs. Cancer, which raises money for the camp.
"We will not be in this situation again any time soon," he said.
Camp Reed, on 600 acres with its own lake, can accommodate more that 200 kids for the camp, said Lisa Vogt, Camp Reed's executive director.
That's more than the 139 kids who've had cancer and their siblings and friends who attended the 2013 camp organized by the American Cancer Society at Ross Point Baptist Camp in Post Falls, Idaho.
"At the end of the day, if there are children in our area affected by cancer who want to go to summer camp, they will be covered," he said.
Last summer, six children and six volunteers were from the Mid-Columbia.
The cancer society approached the YMCA about submitting a proposal to run Camp Goodtimes, Vogt said. Camp Reed played host to the camp from 1985 until 2005.
Camp Goodtimes will continue to offer onsite pediatric oncology, Vogt said. Kids who are unable to stay overnight can be taken there for daytime activities.
"It's a traditional camp in a safe wilderness setting," she said. "We really are known as a place in the Spokane community where a kid can be a kid."
Coaches vs. Cancer, which is chaired by Gonzaga University basketball coach Mark Few and his wife, Marcy, has raised more than $1.2 million for Camp Goodtimes since 2002, according to its website.
It raised $238,000 for the camp at its 2013 weekend fundraiser in August in Spokane.
For information on donating or on having your child attend Camp Goodtimes, call Vogt at 509-720-5630.
-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom