76
      Sunday
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      Monday
      79 / 60
      Tuesday
      76 / 59

      Community reaches out to Camp Quality

      Operator inflates balloon, but decides it's too windy for the kids to stay safe on rides.

      The owner of Incredible Mo's stepped forward to give the kids at Camp Quality a free night of arcade fun after watching 7&4??s newscast Monday night.

      Chris Mohrhardt reached out to the camp director that night, offering a free night of activities for the kids.

      ??It all happened so quickly. Monday night when we saw the news we got everybody together and said can you work some extra shifts. And everybody, knowing what it's for, was happy to do what they needed to do,?? said Mohrhardt. ??We just have to find a day where they can get in here whether it's the daytime or at night??we'll make it happen.??

      Camp Director Kristyn Balog jumped at the opportunity and was able to organize transportation for the campers on Wednesday night.

      Mohrhardt was inspired by Camp Quality's mission of helping kids with cancer enjoy everyday activities they otherwise wouldn't be able to participate in.

      ??It's not necessarily about what they do at camp, it's how they feel,?? said Balog. ??They feel accepted and they feel healthy at camp.??

      Kids at Camp Quality are paired with a volunteer, or companion, for the week. Meagan Denison started going to camp when she was nine and had ovarian cancer. Now, as Michigan??s first pediatric ovarian cancer survivor, she continues to give back to Camp Quality as a companion.

      ??As a camper it was amazing. It gave me a chance to be normal again,?? said Denison. ??To see how their life has changed from Camp Quality, and how my life has changed, and to continue changing the lives of kids as the years go on, that's the biggest thing.??

      The kids take over Lake Ann Camp for a week, using the zip line and the rock wall. They play games and sing silly songs, all in an environment where they are not being made fun of or singled out for their sickness.

      ??Even when they are sick, to see how happy they were here. Camp Quality makes them forget they are sick,?? said Denison. ??The year ends and throughout the year they're still sick, and sometimes they don't come back. It's hard, but Camp Quality definitely teaches you that it's ok to be sad about it. It's not about the quantity of time you're here; it's about the quality of your life.??

      While camp is all about the campers, the kids end up teaching the grown-ups a thing or two.

      ??It's very inspiring. Of course it's hard to choke back tears often times because the kids are so much stronger than the parents and the adults. It's definitely an inspiration,?? said Balog.

      Remax brings out its hot air balloon for the campers to ride every year. Both times they came out this week, however, didn't work out. On Monday, storms rolled in right as the balloon was spread out. Wednesday??s weather was great, but it was too windy for a tethered balloon ride.

      Camp Quality is in its 26th year of providing year-round activities for families with cancer patients, all at no cost.