POMPANO BEACH – 4/23/2014 – On Tuesday, May 6, John Knox Village of Florida, Inc. is hosting a “Teddy Bear Dedication Party” at 3 p.m. in our Village Centre Auditorium. The event will recognize the outstanding efforts of the Rotary Club of John Knox Village, with the funding assistance of The Village’s Sharing and Caring Program, to make 250 teddy bears that will be donated to Victory Junction, a camp for chronically ill children located in Randleman, NC.
Victory Junction (www.victoryjunction.org) was founded for kids in honor of former NASCAR driver Adam Petty, grandson of famous driver Richard Petty and son of Kyle Petty. In 2000, while practicing for a race in New Hampshire, Adam was tragically killed in an accident. Five months after his passing, the family partnered with movie star Paul Newman and the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp to begin Victory Junction.
Since it first opened in 2004, Victory Junction has enriched the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering, in a safe and medically-sound environment. There is no cost for the campers and their families to attend.
Some of the variety of activities at camp include arts and crafts, a woodshop, adventure course, archery, swimming, boating, fishing, horseback riding, a 55-foot climbing tower, a zip line, music and theater and a special NASCAR-themed area complete with race cars, simulators and racing gear. Counselors and medical personnel assure that each child is safe in whatever event the child attempts.
It was last summer when Village residents David and Twylah Haun discovered Victory Junction while visiting family in North Carolina. Their granddaughter was in college and volunteering at the camp, which welcomes 128 campers, ages 6-16, each week during the summer. Victory Junction caters to children with a variety of medical conditions, such as burn survivors, those battling cancer, Cerebral Palsy, heart disease, physical disabilities and more.
During their visit, the Hauns noticed that each camper receives a blanket and teddy bear that he or she is able to keep at the end of the visit.
“We discovered there was a need for teddy bears, and originally, we were going to work with our daughter to make 100 bears,” David said. Then, he approached the Rotary Club of John Knox Village, which agreed to contribute $800 toward the materials for this project.
“The next thing you know, our Rotary Club members volunteered to help make the bears,” he said. The Rotary Club of JKV has been on campus since 2008. Today, there are more than 50 Rotary members, mostly residents of The Village. The group has fun together socializing, as well as organizing three fundraising efforts each year – one for a community charity, one benefitting an international cause and the third is a two-day Knox Rocks concert that raises funds for our Health Center.
Finally, the Hauns approached The Village’s Sharing and Caring Program for a donation. Our award-winning social accountability initiative maintains vital connections to social organizations in the community that depend on financial and volunteer support to keep their programs running. Sharing and Caring provided an additional $800 for the purchase of materials to create another 100 bears, bringing the then new total up to 200.
In addition, numerous employees, especially our Home Health Agency nurses, helped sew, stuff and finish the bears. “This was a true Village effort,” said Kathryn Viau, Director of Residents Services and Sharing and Caring Program Chair.
“For our upcoming dedication ceremony, we will have 250 bears ready for Victory Junction,” David said.
The May 6 ceremony will include recognizing both the Rotary Club of JKV and our Sharing and Caring Program, as well as a dedication of the bears and other presentations. This summer, the Hauns will be returning to give the bears to Victory Junction.
John Knox Village is a not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community that provides a full range of life-care services for those aged 62 and greater. The Village is located at 651 S.W. Sixth Street in Pompano Beach, just east of I-95 and south of Atlantic Boulevard. For more information, contact our Marketing Department, at (954) 783-4040, or visit us at (www.johnknoxvillage.com).