Join us in supporting Team Comfort Zone on March 20!

 

 

April Engram

April’s Fundraising Link

Why is Comfort Zone Camp important to you? / Why do you choose to fundraise for Comfort Zone Camp?

I first got introduced to Comfort Zone Camp by a friend who thought that I would be a great volunteer at a “death camp”.  I’m not sure what that says about me but what I do know is that volunteering with this program has been some of the most rewarding time I’ve ever spent. My assumption was that I was there to help the kids, but the weekends spent at camp have shown me how to communicate and incorporate coping skills into my own life. Most camp weekends I cannot tell which one of us is learning more or having more fun: me or my buddy. I started running seriously right around the time that I started volunteering at camp. Much like camp, running teaches us how to learn, grow and challenge ourselves in ways beyond what we could imagine. Being able to combine my loves by running to raise money for camp is the best of both worlds. Let’s face it, I’m not coming in 1st or winning any awards so if I can make my time on the pavement count for something greater than me, then I’m all for it. I’ll be running the NYC for all of the kids that need an opportunity to grieve, heal and grow.

What does running the United Airlines NYC Half mean to you?

Having an opportunity to run through NYC is magical. I love Broadway, the noise, the street food and the energy of the city. Everyone that I know that has run the NYC Marathon says that there is nothing like the crowd support there. I’m hoping to that the people of NYC will show up and bring that same spirit to the Half. 

Fun fact about yourself 

I once rode on a float in the parade at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

 

Heather Labouy

Heather’s Fundraising Link

Comfort Zone Camps sounded like an awesome idea when I was first introduced in 2013. It wasn’t until 2018, when I finally able to fly to CA and shadow a Healing Circle Leader. Like most campers, I was fairly skeptical coming into the weekend and genuinely wondered how the camp would help kids and teens. Sure, it would be fun and sweet but how would these kids be served in terms of emotional support, coping, and connection? I was probably about 12 hours into the “bubble” when I knew I’d be back. The camps far exceeded my expectations. The organization, seamless transitions, ability to shift and change without any campers noticing, and commitment to creating moments for campers to lean into their grief is unparalleled. My first camp as a Healing Circle Leader on my own I was excited but also terrified. The Big Buddies at Camp Johnsonburg built me up, checked in all weekend, and created space for me to settle in and engage with campers. I am not overstating the impact of CZC when I say those first two camps created a new chapter in my life. I am forever changed by campers, volunteers, and the amazing Comfort Zone staff. 

I’ve always wanted to set a large fundraising goal for Comfort Zone Camps, so I jumped at the chance to get everyone in my life on board with making it happen alongside the United Airlines NY Half Marathon. There aren’t many people who know me who haven’t heard about CZC and now they will all have a hand in supporting future campers. The last couple of years created challenges for maintaining and creating connection. My love for running returned as an integral part of connection and self-care. Being outdoors with an amazing local running group in Seattle is one of the safest and most supportive choices I’ve made since 2020. I am so grateful to be a part of the CZC volunteers chosen to run in the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon because I will be running for 13 miles, sporting my CZC gear and letting everyone along the way know, you’re never alone when you are a part of Comfort Zone. One camp or ten camps, the mark left on the hearts of everyone in the bubble is indelible.

 

Jennifer Campbell

Jennifer’s Fundraising Link

Why is Comfort Zone Camp important to you? / Why do you choose to fundraise for Comfort Zone Camp?

CZC was the first organization where I volunteered in a role that was directly related to my career as a social worker. Since graduate school, I’ve made an effort to volunteer as a healing circle leader at at least one camp every year. No matter how many camps you volunteer for, every single one changes you. I got a taste of “The Bubble” of camp and so genuinely enjoy the comradery of our CZC families and volunteers.

What does running the United Airlines NYC Half mean to you?

I first ran the NYC Half in 2019, to honor my friend who passed away, leaving his wife, 2 daughters, and an unborn son behind. I feel so lucky to be included in the CZC Team this year. In a way, it’s running for him again.

Fun fact about yourself

I rarely ever conduct therapy sessions alone! My fuzzy doxie, Oliver, is a certified therapy dog and has accrued over 1000 hours with clients!

 

Kate Hassenfratz

Kate’s Fundraising Link

Comfort Zone Camp has been in my life for the past 13 years, when I entered my first camp at 7 years old. I am forever grateful to have found such a supportive community after my dad passed away where I can meet kids my age going through similar experiences. Camp has been with me throughout my grieving journey and has taught me that you are never alone.

Not only do you heal when you tell your story, thoughts, and emotions, but they grow stronger together when listening to what others have also been through. Camp has also given me a plethora of coping skills and strategies, running being one of them. Being a native New Yorker, I have always dreamed of running races in the city (where my Dad used to work) and now that I have the opportunity to do it with CZC, I couldn’t be more excited!

 

Kerry Keyes

Kerry’s Fundraising Link

My son’s father died by suicide in 2018; he was 7 years old. Since then, Comfort Zone Camp has been his place to find a community of other kids who share similar experiences, and grieve with kids and caregivers who are there to support him, lift him up, make him laugh, and allow him a safe place to be vulnerable.  I started running a lot after our loss; it was my only time to tune everything out and focus on being present with my breath, my pace, my goals.

I’m running the United Airlines NYC Half to raise funds for an organization that has given so much to me and my son, and to send more grieving kids to a camp where they can do what they can’t do in ‘regular’ life too often after a devastating loss – be their silly, fun, confused, sad and sometimes angry selves, all at the same time. 

 

Mariah Leonard

Mariah’s Fundraising Link

Running the New York Half Marathon has been a bucket list race for me since I got into running. But the opportunity to run it for Comfort Zone Camp is the ultimate gift! 

I first started with CZC in 2008 as a junior counselor. I saw a news story and immediately wanted to sign up as a volunteer. I had to take some time off for college, but the impact of camp was so great that I came back and here I am 14 years later and volunteering with my husband, Kevin. 

 If I’m not at camp or talking about camp (I was JUST recruiting a volunteer before writing this), I spend my time working out, loving on my Aussie Shepherd, Ranger, and dreaming about the next place to travel.  I started my fitness journey in 2014 and have consistently challenged myself. I have completed 3 marathons, 1 half marathon, 6 triathlons, and multiple 10ks and 5ks. My resolution last year was to complete 30 races before my 30th birthday and with support from Kevin I accomplished that. 

I cannot wait to complete another race and cross the finish line knowing it was worth it because Comfort Zone Camp is worth it. Worth every step and every mile. 

 

 

Do you already have a guaranteed entry?

You are still welcome to join us! For a reduced fundraising commitment, you can join our team, meet great people, and help support grieving children. Email Krista at kcollopy@comfortzonecamp.org to learn more.