Empower Me Day Camp celebrates 15 years for 15 months

Empower Me Day Camp has been in full fundraising mode lately with the celebration of its 15th anniversary.
Sep 10, 2013
(Matt Masters • Lebanon Democrat) The Empower Me Day Camp has a talent show as one of its many events for special needs children each year.

Empower Me Day Camp has been in full fundraising mode lately with the celebration of its 15th anniversary.

Empower Me Day Camp is a nonprofit organization established by pediatric therapists to provide opportunities to children with disabilities in the greater Nashville area.

The organization’s current fundraiser is “15 years for 15 months” and is a way to celebrate their 15th anniversary of helping children with disabilities in Wilson County, as well as raise money.

The campaign kicked off in May before Empower Me Day Camp’s Summer Camp and will go for 15 months until next August.

Executive Director Michelle Hill said the fundraiser is a way to try to get people in the community to make a commitment for 15 months.

“People can pledge to donate a certain amount per month or also do a one-time donation,” Hill said.

Hill said though the fundraiser ends next August, people can sign up until then and will give money for 15 months from the time they sign up.

Hill said the donations from this fundraiser would help allow Empower Me Day Camp to serve more kids in the community.

“We always have a waiting list and as we continue to grow as an organization our needs grow and so do our funds needed,” Hill said.

Hill said their most recent fundraiser, the Summer Swinefest in August, raised more than $25,000, and now they are focusing on 15 years for 15 months.

“We’ve been speaking out in the community and trying to get people to sign up and since May we’ve had more than $16,000 pledged,” Hill said. “We’re super excited and we’re just getting started with only a few months under our belt.”

Hill said those who donate would receive a special recognition based on the amount they donate.

A donation of $15 per month would get the donor name or honoree on a brick paver, $50 per month would get recognition on a larger plaque on a “Wall of Courage,” which is a part of the “Garden of Dreams,” $100 per month would be recognized on a resting bench and $150 per month would be recognized by a “Tree of Hope.”

The donor recognitions would be displayed at the recreational complex Empower Me Day Camp has begun funding.

The complex would include a splash pad, adaptive playground, sports court, miracle baseball field and a Garden of Dreams.

“So far we’ve raised $400,000 for the complex,” Hill said. “But right now our plans and funding for that is on hold until the county figures out things with the Expo Center.”

Hill said with the recreational complex on hold she hopes that focus will shift toward being able to serve more kids.

“We have sort of a dual focus; we need the more facilities like the complex, but we also want to be able to help more people,” Hill said.

Hill said for now the organization would continue to spread the word and garner donations and also look toward the future.

“We’re going to announce the total amount we raise for this fundraiser at Swinefest next August and we’re also looking forward to hearing back from the County Commission,” Hill said. “We’re just looking forward to helping more kids and hopefully building a recreational complex for everyone that they can enjoy.”

For more information visit empowermedaycamp.com.

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