Our Alumni Rise to the Rescue
A message from our alumnus and trustee, Bill Baker…
Because we recognize what makes Frost Valley unique, alums are stepping up with creative solutions to aid in the rescue of our beloved camp. Only with our help and the help of other stakeholders will Frost Valley survive the financial fallout from this pandemic.
Every alum knows what makes Frost Valley so special – the values-based programs, transformational experiences, and the incredible people who make up our community of campers, guests, students, and staff.
What some alums may not know is that the fallout from the current public health crisis is placing unprecedented financial pressure on Frost Valley. Because most revenue is generated through registration fees, the absence of summer campers, educational school field trips, and year-round retreats is raising alarm bells.
Since the start of the crisis in March, Frost Valley has lost more than $10.1 million in revenue normally generated by user fees, all but shutting the camp down and forcing extensive furloughing and layoffs. We’ve managed to eke out a few crisis response services, but we have gone from serving hundreds of people each week to only dozens of people a week, sometimes fewer.
Covid-era outreach to Frost Valley’s generous stakeholders, including alums, has produced $3,034,178 in gifts and pledges to date. Loans obtained through the U.S. government’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP) enabled Frost Valley to bring back some of their furloughed staff for a period of several months. And the program’s still pending renewal may offer further assistance. While we are grateful for every penny received this far, we recognize that as long as this pandemic continues, we will need more support.
Here are two fairly likely scenarios:
- If Frost Valley is unable to fully reopen until January 1, we must raise $775,000 to ensure Frost Valley’s survival.
- If Frost Valley is unable to fully reopen until summer camp in late June 2021, we must raise $1.5 million in order to survive.
So, as you can see, we are sounding the alarm. Neither war nor economic depression have produced pressures as severe as what Frost Valley is experiencing in this moment. But the good news is that our family of alums are responsive, engaged, and stepping up in unique and creative ways! Alumni from across all generations are reaching out to Frost Valley leadership with creative offers to help – paying forward their experience here and working to rescue Frost Valley. Every alum is invited to participate in this groundswell of support!
In response to the alumni efforts underway, Frost Valley is launching a very special Alumni to the Rescue! virtual fundraising page to serve as a portal for alumni outreach to their personal and professional networks. If you would like to jump in and create an Alums to the Rescue! fundraising page and utilize in your outreach to your networks, create your own fundraising page here.
Here’s what three of our alumni are already doing:
- KC Johnson’s Simpsons Illustration Giveaway
- Sue Geller’s Call for Alumni Action
- Alex Draper’s Virtual Trivia
You’re invited to join their efforts through the links below or develop your own creative fundraising campaign!
In a heartfelt show of support from an alum in this effort to secure Frost Valley, Los Angeles-based camper alum, staff alum, and all around terrific Frost Valley cheerleader KC Johnson, whose long career in television animation includes 17 years with The Simpsons, is offering her talents to aid in the rescue and recovery of our wonderful camp.
As an incentive in this critical effort, KC is again offering to create entertaining and amusing Simpsons-style custom alumni profile pictures and family scenes for those who would like to jump in and help raise funds. Alums may sign up and create an easy-to-use personal fundraising page to participate.
KC’s Build Strong Illustration Incentives:
- Homer’s Hippest Homie: When you raise $750 for Frost Valley, KC will utilize your provided picture reference provided to create a great profile picture illustration of you (or anyone of your choosing) as a Springfielder. Give your son or daughter, your mom or dad, your brother, sister, friend, cat, dog, – or second cousin once removed – a gift they will have forever! These Illustrations in a digital medium are limited in quantity and only available to the first alums to reach the $750 goal and will be delivered to each of the alums within a month of KC’s receipt of the image on which the illustration will be based. KC has generously committed to doing 10 of this style of portrait.
- Marge’s Davenport Tater Tots: Raise $2,000 for Frost Valley and KC will create a superb illustration of you and your family (or folks of your choosing) sitting on the Simpson’s famous living room sofa. These comprehensive illustrations in a digital medium are available to the first 2 alums to reach the $2,000 goal, and will be delivered to the 2 alums within two months of KC’s receipt of the images on which the illustration will be based. Participants wishing to position themselves to secure both a “Homie” portrait and a sofa illustration can raise $2,750 to qualify. KC has generously committed to creating 2 of this style of portrait.
Sue was a camper in the late 70’s, and then worked her way up through the Frost Valley ranks throughout the 1980’s, and stays actively involved in work weekends, reunions, and leads a Single Moms by Choice weekend at Frost Valley. Her 7 ½ yr old daughter Ariana already identifies Frost Valley as “her future camp,” having fallen in love with the place. Recently, Sue reached out directly to CEO Jerry Huncosky when she heard how tough things are at Frost Valley. Sue is determined to get the word out and drum up solutions and donations for Frost Valley. Sue has graciously volunteered to reach out to fellow alumni from her time at Frost Valley, in the late 70s and early 80s, who might be willing to help with further outreach, creative fundraising solutions, and donations to help camp survive. To volunteer in a similar capacity, please contact us by emailing email@example.com.
Sue has also suggested other creative ideas that other alums may wish to consider spearheading in the effort to step up for Frost Valley. With the majority of Frost Valley’s staff furloughed, alumni volunteers are critical to each of these initiatives – and to the many ideas yet to be shared by each of you!
- A Skills Raffle, whereby an alum volunteer could organize a menu of skills from a network of alums. Then folks connected to their network – and other alum networks – could purchase each of the elements on the menu, which might include a professionally written resume, the completion of a tax return, leading an online cooking, yoga or other class, or leading a crafts exercise at a children’s birthday party. Who will step up to run a skills raffle?
- An Online Auction, through which an alum volunteer could assemble items or services of interest to alums and other contacts. Who’d like to step up to the online podium and spearhead an auction?
- List-Building, in which an alum volunteer review a list of alums from their years at Frost Valley, and help answer the question, “Who’s missing?” This exercise expands the network of Alums with whom Frost Valley is in touch, while also expanding the audience of those who may wish to help in the rescue of Frost Valley. A link to the online form through which a newly discovered alum may re-establish contact with Frost Valley could be provided along with these generational lists; and they can be invited to join the Frost Valley alumni Facebook page to reconnect and get involved. Who is up to this communications and organizational challenge?
“My life would not be what it is, my values as strong as they are, and my confidence and love of the outdoors, if not for my years at FV!” – Sue Geller
Alex, a staff alum who hails from the U.K., and who brought his talents to a variety of positions at Frost Valley, is organizing a monthly virtual trivia game with content relevant to, though not exclusive to, the Frost Valley community. Alums, family, friends and anyone who loves trivia are welcome. Participants will be asked to make a contribution, though this will not be a requirement to play.
Each month, Alex will focus on a theme, an aspect of Frost Valley around which alums can contribute and generate assistance for Frost Valley. Alex’s goal is to raise $10,000 for Frost Valley by the end of the year. Prizes will be awarded!
Beginning around 2010, Alex launched his career at Frost Valley as a camp counselor, and went on to become a program instructor, village coordinator, assistant director of Camp Wawayanda, and resident camp activities director.
We’re so grateful to Alex and his thoughtful and creative offer to host these fun events, which will surely bring many folks together and help raise money for our beloved Frost Valley.
Join Alex’s First Virtual Trivia Game on September 15, 7:30pm EST, using the following zoom credentials to join:
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/
Meeting ID: 729 2522 0270
If you’re on Facebook, you can RSVP to the event here. Otherwise, we’ll see you there!
Now it’s your turn. We invite you to support one of the above efforts, or develop your own creative initiative and start your fundraising page (LINK). Thank you for all of your unending support. We know that together, we will rise and thrive.
Bill Baker, Alumnus & Trustee
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frost Valley YMCA
Frost Valley YMCA is a 5,500-acre, year-round camp - There's something for everyone here in the Valley. From group and family retreats to overnight camps to horse camps to teambuilding, we've got you covered. School groups love taking a three-night field trip to explore the natural world and learn about the environment and their classmates. Family weekends are the perfect getaway for the young and the young at heart. Teambuilding retreats afford corporate, collegiate, religious, and other groups the opportunity to challenge themselves and effectively work toward common goals. In the summertime we're where kids and teens gain independence, explore the world, and make lifelong friends through various camps such as traditional sleepaway camp, farm camp, horse camp, adventure trips, survival camp, and day camp. Call (845)985-2291 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more today!
More posts by Frost Valley YMCA