Dining hall dedicated at Trowbridge
A new dining hall was dedicated Sept. 9 at Camp Trowbridge near Vergas. About 75 people, many of them Lions Club members from throughout the region, participated in the dedication event. The Lions and Lioness have supported Kamp K.A.C.E (Kids Aga...
A new dining hall was dedicated Sept. 9 at Camp Trowbridge near Vergas.
About 75 people, many of them Lions Club members from throughout the region, participated in the dedication event.
The Lions and Lioness have supported Kamp K.A.C.E (Kids Against Cancer Everywhere) for 18 years. Kamp K.A.C.E. is hosted annually at Trowbridge, for kids who are fighting cancer. Kamp K.A.C.E. has been "adopted" by Lions in District 5M9.
For the dedication ceremony, several area clubs were represented--including New York Mills, Perham, Bluffton, Dent, Vergas, Frazee and Wolf Lake.
The new dining hall is the largest project undertaken so far. This $130,000 project was made possible through a $40,000 grant from the Lions Club International Foundation, and through individual club donations.
The Lions are also raising funds to finish the storm shelter, which is below the dining hall.
The hall was used on a limited basis this summer, but next summer it will be fully operational. for the season, said Perham Lakes Lion Bill Parks, who has been active in supporting the camp.
"We're setting a budget for future projects, and some of them are already on the drawing board." said Parks. He added that the Lions have been working for 13 years to help the camp upgrade to OSHA standards.
With the new dining hall, all 100 kids and staff can eat at one time. With the dining hall being complete they are now able to use the old hall for a craft shop.
Thirteen years ago, Lions clubs started making many improvements at Camp Trowbridge--including a handicap ramp, new windows in some cabins, a basketball court, a backboard and many others.
Kamp K.A.C.E. is a camp for kids with cancer ages 6-17 years old. Brothers and sisters ages 7-16 may also attend. The Dakota Medical Foundation helps fund this camp. Kids come to Kamp K.A.C.E. from the northern 1/2 of Minnesota, eastern 1/2 of North Dakota, the NE part of South Dakota.
In 1986 a group of doctors and nurses from Dakota and Merit Care Hospitals came up with an idea for Kamp K.A.C.E. The first full week of August 1987 was set as the first camp.
In 1989, Lions Bob Shields and Lynn Monge were approached. The Kamp K.A.C.E. staff was making plans for the third annual Kamp K.A.C.E. They came to Shields and Monge and asked if the Vergas Lions would help with activities. They wanted to take all campers fishing. Within one week the Vergas Lions arranged for about 40 boats and were able to take about 93 kids fishing for an afternoon. This is still the highlight of the week for these kids. It has continued for all 18 years the Lions have helped with this camp.
Around 1993 the Kamp K.A.C.E. staff asked if Perham Lakes Lions could help with a day in Detroit Lakes. With help from other clubs, 93 kids were taken into Detroit Lakes, according to Monge.
Lions were also asked to make the camp more handicap accessible. The Lions built a handicap ramp from the dining hall to the lake, about 200 feet. Lions also helped improve the road into the overnight campground and bought a new outboard motor so the kids can boat to the over night campground, and installed windows and doors in six cabins and improved all pathways where the kids walk.
The Lions even built a basketball court with a backboard and rim.