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In 2004, Camp Victory, which is located in Millville, Pennsylvania, and operates camps for children who live with chronic health disadvantages including spina bifida, autism and cancer, added a wheel-chair friendly treehouse to their “Wish List” of needs. The tree house came with a hefty price tag and for several years, it sat on the list untouched. Just when Camp Victory was about to remove the treehouse from the wish list, it received a call from West’s CEO Don Morel and the campaign to build “Uncle Walt’s Treehouse” was born.
As part of the West without Borders 2007 campaign, West team members donated $240,000 to help build the treehouse. But West’s generosity didn’t stop there. More than 100 team members from the Jersey Shore, Montgomery and Williamsport plants helped build the treehouse.
“Over the course of eight weeks, West donated much of the manpower needed to help build the treehouse,” said Dave Bergerstock, Director of Operations. Bergerstock was the plant manager at Jersey Shore when treehouse construction began and participated in the ‘twig-breaking’ ceremony to mark the start of construction in April 2007. “It was a truly remarkable experience for us – particularly because we knew our hard work would amount to a terrific experience for the children.”
When complete, the treehouse was, said the children, “totally awesome.”
“Every group has found multiple uses for the treehouse,” said Jamie Huntley, Camp Victory Executive Director. “Sleepouts, music sessions, drumming circle, nature lessons, bird watching and just plain hanging out. We can’t thank West enough for making this dream come true.”
Since then West team members have continued to raise money for and aid Camp Victory with many volunteer hours.
Recently, West Corporate, through the H.O. West Foundation, once again donated $25,000 to the Camp, and the Jersey Shore and Williamsport facilities donated over $40,000 from their 2013 West without Borders campaign. Both local facilities continue to make Camp Victory the recipient of its annual West without Borders efforts. At an informal appreciation dinner in March, West’s long-term partnership with Camp Victory brought forth some emotional stories of what the partnership has meant to both West and the camp.
Noted Bergerstock, “West’s partnership with Camp Victory continues to benefit both organizations in an extremely positive way. At the recent dinner, local plant representatives from Jersey Shore, Williamsport and Exton were able to share what this partnership has truly meant to them over the years with Camp Victory’s Board of Directors. We are pleased and proud to have helped the thousands of less fortunate children that go to the various catered weekly camps, and we hope to continue to do so for many years to come.”
Watch for more stories about what the partnership with Camp Victory has meant to the West team over the years!
West without Borders is not affiliated with Doctors Without Borders®, which is a registered service mark of Bureau International de Médecins Sans Frontières.
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