Donate to help children with cancer enjoy a week at Camp Happy Days

BY SHARRON HALEY
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 5/4/18

SUMMERTON - Seeing a smile or hearing the laughter of a child suffering from cancer makes all the work that goes into Camp Happy Days well worth the effort.

"It is definitely rewarding," said Bill Ellis of Manning, who has been volunteering with …

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Donate to help children with cancer enjoy a week at Camp Happy Days

Since 1982, more than 1,500 children with cancer and their families have enjoyed Camp Happy Days, which gives young cancer patients a chance to be away from hospitals for a week.
Since 1982, more than 1,500 children with cancer and their families have enjoyed Camp Happy Days, which gives young cancer patients a chance to be away from hospitals for a week.
DAVID EPNER / SPECIAL TO THE SUMTER ITEM
Posted

SUMMERTON - Seeing a smile or hearing the laughter of a child suffering from cancer makes all the work that goes into Camp Happy Days well worth the effort.

"It is definitely rewarding," said Bill Ellis of Manning, who has been volunteering with Camp Happy Days for more than 20 years. "It makes you a better person. I feel selfish sometimes about how good helping out at Camp Happy Days makes me feel."

Ellis said that most of the children who attend Camp Happy Days spend most of their time in the hospital or doctor's office, going through chemo or radiation treatments, getting shots, taking medicine and often times not feeling well enough to venture outdoors.

"Having a week where they can do nothing but have fun is terrific for them," he said. "Just knowing that I played a small part in helping that happen is very rewarding."

Ellis said he started working with Camp Happy Days when he and a few co-workers at SCANA SCE&G would take one day off from work and cook boiled peanuts for the children.

"Since then I've involved into more of a fundraiser, collecting donations for the camp," he added. "It's gotten bigger and bigger every year, and it runs solely on donations. The donations are tax deductible."

Since 1982, more than 1,500 children with cancer and their families have benefited from Camp Happy Days. Children with cancer from across South Carolina have spent a week in Clarendon County without any charge.

At Camp Happy Days, children can be children again. What cancer takes away, Camp Happy Days helps give back.

Camp Happy Days is a week teeming full of amazing experiences. Not only will the children be able to realize their dreams, but the camp also helps them overcome adversity and aids them in emerging stronger and more self-assured.

During the week-long camp, children will enjoy thematic dances, fireworks on the Fourth of July, tubing, fishing, painting and last, but not least, the camp's fabulous talent show.

Camp Happy Days offers the week of fun to the children with cancer and their families at no cost to the families. In order to grow and offer its services to more children across the state, Camp Happy Days relies on the generosity of folks throughout the state to keep its efforts growing.

Last year, more than 300 children and their families were able to enjoy summer camp and 12 year-round programs offered through the camp at no cost to the families.

This year, Camp Happy Days kicks off on July 1 at the R.M. Cooper 4-H Leadership Center, perhaps better known as Camp Bob Cooper, and ends July 7. The camp is expecting more than 300 children and their families to attend this year's event.

If you'd like to make a donation, please make the check payable to Camp Happy Days and mail it to Bill Ellis, 1358 Sportsman Drive, Manning SC 29102 or they can call Ellis at 803-460-7666.

Donations can be made online at https://www.camphappydays.org/donations.