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A Night to Remember – by Kathryn Winning & Mike Wiebe

It is amazing what a small group of committed people can accomplish. Certainly this was true
on August 22 last year at Moorelands Camp. The first annual Starry Summer Nights Bash, a
fundraiser for the camp, took place a mere six weeks after the idea was hatched. Why the
sudden and last minute effort? In reality, the idea had been discussed before, with the general
consensus being “we should be supporting that camp on the lake.”

The reason that 2015 became the year boils down to one important fact. Moorelands gets
almost all of its funding from private and corporate donations (it is not a member of United
Way and gets almost no government funding), and since 2008, times have been tough.
Moorelands’ mission is to work with Toronto’s children and youth affected by poverty, to
provide them with positive and fun experiences to help strengthen their confidence,
competence and character. We all know that nothing is better than being on the lake. So, with
times being tough, how could we not help our Moorelands neighbours to Send A Kid To Camp?

What an evening! Spearheaded by Rob Walisser of Old Mill Marina and thanks to the dedicated
efforts of a handful of people, the event was polished, professional and pretty much perfect.
Guests were treated to live jazz from Sherisse Stevens and Joe Alfano, as well as wine, beer, and
tasty tapas from our generous sponsors, Flat Rock Cellars (Karen Brookbank and Ed Madronich);
Muskoka Brewery (Bob and Janice MacDonald); and Il Fornello Restaurant (Sean Fleming and
Carol Davies), all of whom cottage on the lake. The food was elegantly presented by the
Walisser and Fleming/Davies children.

Throughout the evening, Moorelands counsellors proudly showed groups of new friends
around the impressive facilities. As evidenced by the young men and women we met that
evening, providing the opportunity for children to experience the wonders of camping is
profoundly and positively life changing. The counsellors shared stories of many campers’
success, and some of their own. It’s clear that Moorelands staff take personal pride in what
they are doing to impact the young lives of campers. We met some that had started as
campers themselves—inspiring! Posters and photos added to the story, as did a stirring history
lesson from Camp Director Lynda Tilley.

And with that lesson for all of us, the auction began. Dave Goulden did a great job of exciting
the crowd, and their wallets! Interesting items—ranging from floatplane rides to electric
generators and boats—were snapped up by an excited crowd. With an equally impressive
collection of items, the silent auction created more than a few bidding rivalries as well. Midway
through the auction, I approached Rob to congratulate him. He dismissed the compliment with
the wonderful words, “It is the generosity of all these people that makes me proud.” In fact, a
last minute addition to the auction, “send a kid to camp,” resulted in not one, but three kids
being sponsored by generous patrons!

Indeed the generosity, and the sense of pleasure and joy in helping Moorelands Camp achieve
its goals was thrilling, as the bidding went higher and higher! By the time the dust settled, this
event generated almost $36,000 for Moorelands. While it would take a full page to list all the
sponsors, everyone in attendance should be thanked for making the evening a great success.
The night sky was filled with glorious stars, but the brightest, most beautiful stars were partying
at Moorelands Camp.

The evening ended the same way it started, with boat transportation provided by both marinas
back to everyone’s cottage. New friendships were sealed on the boat ride home!

And so it’s with this backdrop that we are very happy to announce the second annual Starry
Summer Night Bash will take place on August 20, 2016. Building on last year’s success, we will
be offering even more to tempt you all. Our generous food and beverage sponsors have
already re-committed their support, and a committee has been established to help share the
work. We are always in need of more volunteers to help now and in the immediate lead-up to
the event. Please reach out to a committee member (listed below), the KLCA, or one of the
marinas. Or send a message to Donations to the live or
silent auctions can be made by contacting any committee member directly or at the email
address above:

Jim Kaufman
John McBride
Brenda Norfolk
Rachel Reid
Rob Walisser
Mike Wiebe
Kathryn Winning

Tickets will go on sale near the beginning of July. Watch for info at our local businesses, on
Facebook and by email. In 2015 the event was a sellout, and while we have been able to add
more capacity, we expect to sell out again. On this coming Starry Summer Night we hope to
prove once again that the sky is the limit!

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