News & Events

True Friends Serves More People Following Camp Courage Renovation

Camp Cambria Foundation Invested $2.2 Million in Camp Courage Remodel

In 2018, Cambria’s non-profit organization, the Camp Cambria Foundation, teamed up with non-profit True Friends on an incredible $2.2 million renovation to several buildings at Camp Courage in Maple Lake, Minnesota. True Friends manages many camp locations in Minnesota including Camp Courage – home to Camp Cambria each summer. The Camp Cambria Foundation saw the importance and impact to renovate Camp Courage so kids would be able to access Camp Courage year round.

Previously, the dining hall at Camp Courage was closed from October through April due to the cold weather months.  In the last year since completion and with the new year-round use of the dining hall and other facilities, True Friends Camp Courage saw a 46% increase in Conference and Retreat business with an increase of 15 groups, 507 people and $80,300 in revenue.

“The entrepreneurial partnership between the Camp Cambria Foundation and True Friends has launched us into a variety of new opportunities,” said President and CEO, John LeBlanc. “The renovation has enhanced our ability to provide person-centered care to more individuals, all in a beautifully renovated space designed specifically for the disability community.”

Camp Cambria’s donation allowed for an extensive renovation, including a complete gut of the dining hall, kitchen and health center, and major improvements to the arts & crafts building The dining hall was completely transformed into a safe and accessible gathering space with updated bathrooms and a new kitchen with an improved layout to accommodate serving meals to kids with special dietary restrictions. The installation of a new HVAC system now allows the facility to be utilized year-round, owing to the success of last year’s development efforts.

The health center – home [...]

Check Out the Spring Sharing Our Stories Newsletter

Each individual who experiences True Friends has a story to share. From caregivers, to participants, to donors, and volunteers, True Friends provides a unique opportunity to experience life in a whole new way.  In our bi-annual newsletter, Sharing Our Stories, we attempt to capture stories that make our participants unique, all while updating you on what is happening at True Friends.

Our Spring 2019 Sharing Our Stories newsletter has a new look and feel.

We hope you enjoy it!

To see the full issue click here. 

Norman C. Skalicky Foundation and Stearns Bank donates $100,000 to True Friends

Annandale, Minn. (Jan. 18, 2019) – True Friends recently received a $100,000 donation from the Norman C. Skalicky Foundation and Stearns Bank to benefit general operations at True Friends.

“This generous gift from the Norman C. Skalicky Foundation and Stearns Bank makes it possible to carry on our mission of high quality, personalized care to our clients,” said John LeBlanc, President & CEO of True Friends said. “I know our clients and board of directors are very thankful for this gift.”

Beyond keeping the lights on, general operations at True Friends supports program development and critical infrastructure initiatives to provide exceptional care for individuals participating in camp, respite, horse therapy and travel services.

“Stearns Bank has always been passionate about giving back to the community, even more so to those needing a helping hand,” Skalicky said. “The work of True Friends to enhance self-esteem and independence aligns well with our mission to help foster growth and success.”

While True Friends programs provide life-changing experiences for our participants, they also offer caregivers a moment of respite; a chance to rest and to relieve the stress that sometimes occurs while caring for individuals with special needs.

About the Norman C. Skalicky Foundation

Norman C. Skalicky is CEO and Chairman of Stearns Bank, N.A. The Norman C. Skalicky Foundation (NCSF) was formed in 2001 with the help of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation. Since then, NCSF has initiated several fund-raising challenges and supported various community causes to benefit those in need. Recipients of this great community resource include Catholic Charities, Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Clubs, United Way, various food shelf organizations and several disaster relief efforts.