By Jennifer Hoegg
New Minas Sunrise Rotary Club was one of the first local groups to jump on the Brigadoon Village bandwagon in a big way.
“Dave McKeage presented to our club his dream of place where extraordinary kids can be ordinary,” club president Greg White said of the 2008 pitch to help build a camp for chronically ill children and their families.
White said McKeage, executive director and founder of Brigadoon and a childhood cancer survivor, understands the value of the camp experience for kids.
“The issue was that Nova Scotians didn’t really have the facility where we could provide the same opportunities to today’s youth. The concept of Brigadoon was born.”
The club pledged to contribute $250,000 - the cost of one winterized cabin at the Aylesford Lake site – over five years, with most of the fundraising intended to come from their annual Camp Out for Kids event.
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At New Minas Sunrise Rotary's regular breakfast meeting Nov. 21, White and Peter Miller, Camp Out for Kids committee chairman, surprised the membership by announcing the goal was met ahead of schedule. The news was met with whoops, applause and tears.
McKeage was not able to be there to receive the giant cheque – he is currently receiving treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma – so program director Jen Kelday thanked the Rotarians on behalf of all of the Brigadoon staff and community.
“I just want to say thank you so much and I wish Dave could be here for this. It is a pretty big deal and I know he knows about it,” she said.
For more on the Rotarians’ donation, see the Nov. 27 Kings County Advertiser.