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Share Your Heart Ball to Keep Momentum Going at Camp Rainbow Gold
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Sunday, January 21, 2024
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Open your hearts on behalf of children with cancer when the lively and glamorous Share Your Heart Ball returns on behalf of Camp Rainbow Gold.

Share Your Heart Ball will be held at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Limelight Ballroom at the Sun Valley Inn. For tickets, call 208-928-7820 or visit https://camprainbowgold.org/share-your-heart/.

The camp was established to give children with cancer a place where they can just be kids, form bonds with children who share their challenges and have a camp experience under the watchful eye of camp staff and medical personnel.

“Camp brings us together and puts us on common ground where the struggles of everyday life don’t seem so heavy,” said Colin, a former camper and current volunteer.

The evening will present an opportunity to engage in pre-dinner games, including a Wishing Well since camp is full of wishes.  The night will be capped by dancing to cover tunes served up by No Limits out of Salt Lake City.

As with last year, there will be a chance to take part in a heads-or-tails game in which the last person standing will win a pair of diamond earrings thumbs from Christopher & Co. in Hailey. The silent auction is being brought back, and it will be accompanied by a live auction featuring a ski package donated by Sun Valley Resort, a trip to Greece, a week at a private home in Baja, Mexico and a week at a private home in the Tuscan area of Italy.

Also on the auction blocks is the second annual private flag football Idaho Lumber Bowl game with former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Carson Palmer, who has become a champion of Camp Rainbow Gold since moving to Sun Valley several years ago.

Last year Todd Hunter of Idaho Lumber transformed his yard in the Bellevue Triangle into a half-football field with lines and everything for the first bowl game, which was accompanied by food trucks, swag and footballs autographed by Palmer

“It was so fun for both children and adults,” said Christl Holzl, development director for Camp Rainbow Gold.

There will also be an opportunity to hear from three camp families, and this year there will be a surprise in store that will change the future of one of Camp Rainbow Gold’s kids, said Holzl.  

Funds raised at the Share Your Heart Ball and donations throughout the year help purchase art supplies, adaptive bikes, Hershey bars, marshmallows and graham crackers for s’mores and costumes for dances, as well as transportation, rental equipment and medical supplies.

The Boise-based Camp Rainbow Gold serves more than 400 children with cancer and their family members with the help of more than 300 volunteers who contribute more than 27,000 hours of volunteer time per year.

It provides year-round programs for children and their families, including oncology camps for children with cancer, sibling camps for those whose brothers or sisters have cancer and family camps. The organization also hosts a teen support group and provides college scholarship for youth who have battled cancer.

All the programs are free.

Camps are held at the 172-acre Hidden Paradise camp near Fairfield. It is Idaho’s only purpose-built medical camp. As such, it’s being used by a variety of other groups, including the Sunrise Retreats widow’s group, an amputee camp, those with epilepsy and children with diabetes.

The camp recently finished a new amphitheater named after Sarah Adicoff, the late daughter of Sam Adicoff and Sue Conner of Sun Valley. The amphitheater features stadium-like seating, two giant firepits, sound, lighting and equipment storage and a backdrop on which one of the camp workers painted a mountain mural.

And, yes, the kids can still shout at the Man in the Mountain, just as they did when the Man in the Boulder Mountains echoed back at them from the amphitheater of their former camp at Cathedral Pines north of Ketchum.

Andersen Construction is currently building a new Med Shack that was donated by Blue Cross of Idaho. There also are six new cabins under construction, and BlackRock homes has donated another six that will have their groundbreaking in spring.

Teri and Sandor Szombathy of Sun Valley donated a new equestrian arena that will be pressed into use by Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center of Bellevue during the summer of 2024.

The additional cabins means that the camp no longer has to turn families away, said Holzl. Next, Camp Rainbow Gold hopes to begin work on a new lodge that will boast a large commercial kitchen and gathering space for 200. It’s also continuing to improve roads, pathways, septic system and power and other infrastructure.

“It’s been incredible to see our dreams come to fruition,” said Holzl. “It takes a community of supporters, including donors and volunteers, to put all the pieces together.”

Want to know more? Call 208-350-6435 or visit www.hiddenparadisecamp.org.

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