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Hamilton High School graduate volunteers at Camp Kesem

The camp counselors from 2013 smile for the camera. Hamilton grad, Ally Klann, serves as an executive board member.

The camp counselors from 2013 smile for the camera. Hamilton grad, Ally Klann, serves as an executive board member. Photo By Submitted Photo

Dec. 3, 2013

Last August, 88 campers piled onto buses and headed to Campbellsport, Wisconsin for Camp Kesem. Once there, they sang camp songs, played games, went swimming and participated in traditional camp activities. But Camp Kesem is different than most summer camps, and without the hard work of University of Wisconsin-Madison students like 2011 Hamilton graduate Ally Klann, Camp Kesem would not exist.

Klann, a UW-Madison junior studying biology, is the campus awareness co-director for Camp Kesem UW-Madison. Camp Kesem recognizes and embraces the often-overlooked population of children affected by a parent's cancer. The organization creates a peer support network for these children through summer camp, year-round support, leadership development programs and community engagement. As an executive board member, Klann works with 18 other UW-Madison students to organize, fundraise, recruit campers, plan reunions and volunteer as counselors.

Klann was an administration and camp programming co-coordinator last year. In this position, she helped plan, organize and run the actual camp programs for the kids.

In total, there are 54 Camp Kesem organizations around the nation. This number has recently increased due to a partnership with the Livestrong Foundation, but it is not yet enough to help the more than 3 million kids affected by a parent's cancer. Camp Kesem Wisconsin wants to continue to grow to serve more kids in the Wisconsin area. If you are interested in learning more about Camp Kesem or donating to the organization, visit http://campkesem.org/uwmadison or email ckuwmadison@campkesem.org.

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