Give to the Max Day 2015

Support Camp Scholarships!

**UPDATE: We raised a total of $4,705 through this year’s efforts… Thank you!**

What is Give to the Max Day?

GTMD15LogoHorizontalColorSafeGive to the Max Day was created in 2009 to launch GiveMN, a collaborative venture led by Minnesota Community Foundation and many other organizations committed to helping make our state a better place. That initial spark touched off a blast of online giving — $14 million in 24 hours. Since then, Give to the Max Day has become an annual tradition. Every year thousands of organizations and individuals generate donations and excitement for Minnesota causes that are working to improve the quality of life for all Minnesotans. Give to the Max Day has become a national model for giving days.


2015 GTTM Day

This year, our goal is to send as many kids and adults to camp as possible. At True Friends, we never want to turn anyone away because of an inability to pay. Your donation supports financial aid for individuals of all abilities to experience life-changing adventures that enhance independence and self-esteem.

2014 GTTM Day

Last year we worked to raise money to fund a custom, multi-sensory playground for Camp Eden Wood. We are excited to announce that all of the permits have been secured and we are working towards a ground-breaking date!

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Camp Courage 60th Anniversary

Camp Courage celebrates its 60th year of serving individuals with disabilities this year. In 1955, Camp Courage opened to serve campers with physical disabilities such as polio, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, as well as other congenital and acquired disabilities. To make camp a worthwhile experience, children with disabilities had to participate, be challenged and have opportunities to learn new skills they could use in their daily lives. The original camp location is now called the Lakeside at Camp Courage. In 1966, a new campus was added to serve children with communication disorders. Children with speech, hearing and language impairments were now able to have a summer experience that included speech therapy and education. This site, originally called Speech and Hearing Camp is now called Woodland at Camp Courage.

Events to Celebrate the ADA’s 25th Anniversary

MN Twins Discounted Game

Throughout the year and at the Minnesota Twins game on August 16th, celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act 25th Anniversary. The Minnesota Twins are pleased to offer discounted tickets on August 16th when the Twins take on the Cleveland Indians. While much progress has been made, much remains to be done.

a7df41_6e5ca9f98ffd4ad2b7d28edee3aabcb1The Minnesota Twins are helping to recognize and celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act during their 1:10 p.m. game against the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, Aug. 16. Discount seats are available and range from $20 to $42. To order tickets, use this order form. The form can be completed and mailed or e-mailed to the addresses listed on the form. Tickets also can be ordered by calling Steven Wert at 612.659.3577. The deadline to order is Aug. 3.

Family Day at the MN History Center

The Family Day is noon – 4 p.m. Sunday, July 26 at the Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. The event is free.
“We’re very excited to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ADA by bringing together the community to share stories about the ADA, listen to great entertainers and see fabulous art. It will all be under one roof and we hope everyone is able to attend this historic event,” said Willshire.
The event includes live entertainment, speakers, an open microphone so visitors can share their stories, interactive arts activities and fun for all. Light refreshments will be served.
A barbeque lunch is available for purchase. See clips of The ADA at 25: Disability Rights in Minnesota, a documentary film produced by TPT. More information can be found here.

Twin [...]

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National Volunteer Week

April 12-18 is National Volunteers Week! We would like to recognize and thank our many amazing volunteers for their effort and devotion to camp! In 2014, True Friends welcomed 1,526 amazing volunteers into over six different volunteer categories. Click here for a graphic summary of our 2014 volunteers!

Main Graphic As part of this amazing week, we would like to share some ways to get involved with True Friends.

RespiteGrab a friend and sign up TODAY! This is a great chance to earn service hours for class, NHS, Varsity Letter, graduation, etc. Apply online today.

True StridesWhether you’re an experienced rider or have no experience with horses, there is a volunteer opportunity for you! Apply online today. Sign up for the training session here.

MaintenanceTalk to your co-workers, church groups, school clubs, Boy/Girl/Eagle scout troops, athletic teams, etc. about helping around camp… Or get your group involved with some off-site projects, host a fundraiser/drive, or use your talents to engage campers in a program during camp! Apply online today.

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Dance with Courage

Dance with Courage turned into Crafts with Courage, an event held at Dance Arts Centre’s stuido to raise money for campers. The event raised $28,000! Thank you to the Dance Arts Centre and their dancers, donators and supporters!

We are sad to share that due to recent events, Dance Arts Centre is unable to take their dancers to Mall of America for the 9th annual Dance With Courage event. However, they still feel very passionate about the purpose of the event which is to support and fund raise for True Friends camps. The events around MOA are not stopping us from reaching our fundraising goal of $20,000.00, it is inspiring us! We appreciate your support in helping us make this happen.

True Friends teams up with the Dance Arts Centre to present the 9th Annual Dance with Courage on March 8 from 1-3 pm at the Mall of America Rotunda.

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Hundreds of local dancers will participate to help raise money for True Friends. There will be an opportunity for the public to join in on some fun social dances and see performances by the Vikings Cheerleaders and Dance Arts Centre’s competition dancers.

Visit the event’s website to view the participating dancers and donate!

Dance with Courage Impact: Liza’s Story

Liza Liza is a happy, hard-working 14-year-old who loves organizing her room, hanging out with friends and reading. She recently swam 9 laps during a Special Olympics training session, stopping only briefly to catch her breath between lengths. We are thrilled that she’s back in the pool after being [...]

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2015 Arctic Plunge for Camp

Join us at the 6th Annual Maple Lake Artic Plunge! Brave jumpers and donors will help us provide life changing experiences to our campers with disabilities at True Friends. The Arctic Plunge is held in conjunction with the Maple Lake Ice Fishing Tournament.

**The Maple Lake Ice Fishing Derby and related activities scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 31, have been postponed to Saturday, Feb. 7, due to unsafe ice access.**

$100 minimum registration – get your friends and family to sponsor your jump!

erin.jason.3Registration: 9:30am
First Jump: 10:30am
Cash prizes for top three costumes
Jump in groups – up to 5 jumpers

Located on the south side of Maple Lake along Hwy 55.

Visit our plunge page to make a donation!
Contact Ruth Kewitsch for more information: or 952.852.0128



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Arctic Plunge 2015 v.1_Page_1

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Give to the Max Day! -November 13

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we raised $11,105 for Camp Eden Wood! Combined with our $10,000 match, and the total for Give to the Max Day 2014 was over $20,000.

Every year thousands of organizations and individuals generate donations and excitement for Minnesota causes that are working to improve the quality of life for all Minnesotans. Last year, $14 million dollars was raised in 24 hours. This year, we are raising money for Camp Eden Wood to build a custom, accessible, multi-sensory playground. Click here for examples of playground elements.

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True Strides Open House -Sept. 20

Thank you to everyone who donated, volunteered and attended this event! Watch a highlight reel of the day below!

TS Open House Invite


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Camp Friendship’s 50th Anniversary Open House -Sept. 7

Thank you to all who attended, donated to and helped celebrate this amazing event!
It was a gorgeous day and a major success. We were glad to see so many come back to a place that they keep near to their hearts.

The Annandale Advocate featured 2 great stories about camp recently. Read them below!


50 years of Friendship
Longtime employees at Camp Friendship celebrating the camp’s 50th anniversary included, from left, Teri Vetsch, Arlene Schacht, Bonnie Thorstad, Chet Tschetter, Larry Blum and Ed Stracke.
Longtime employees at Camp Friendship celebrating the camp’s 50th anniversary included, from left, Teri Vetsch, Arlene Schacht, Bonnie Thorstad, Chet Tschetter, Larry Blum and Ed Stracke.

Paul Downer
Managing Editor

Over the past half century, Camp Friendship has provided unforgettable experiences for people with disabilities, their caregivers and the camp staff on the shores of Clearwater Lake.

The camp celebrated its 50-year anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 7, with a large open house featuring typical camp activities, visits from a few of the remaining founders and many past staff members and campers.

“I think (the 50-year mark is) exciting in that it shows the stability of the organization and how rooted we are in the disabilities community. There [...]

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Fishing Tournament at Camp Friendship

Take part in an exciting fishing tournament with the Fishers of Men. The event is July 26 from 9AM to Noon. All are welcome, please call to check for boat and guide availability. This is not a poker tournament so we expect everyone to be active and fit for this.

fish flyer

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