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Camp Gilbert Gets $15,000 Donation

December 30, 2013, 5:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Camp Gilbert Gets $15,000 Donation

Even with the snow and cold weather, some kids are already thinking about summer camp.  Monday a special camp in South Dakota got a big donation from one local organization.

Camp Gilbert near Waubay isn't just a camp for kids, it's a place of acceptance.  For one week every summer, these kids all feel the same.  They all have diabetes.

"I think one of the best things kids get out of camp is being around other kids who also have to deal with diabetes on a day-to-day basis," Camp Gilbert board member Cindy Matthes said.

This summer will be 16-year-old Austin Nelson's seventh time attending Camp Gilbert.  Nelson says some of his friends really don't understand what it's like to be a diabetic, but at camp, everyone can relate.

"One year we met a body builder and he had type 1 diabetes and explained his story to us and met a professional dancer, who explained her story, so it's educational and fun at the same time," Nelson said. 

The Sioux Falls Cosmopolitan donated a check to Camp Gilbert for $15,000.

"Our main cause is to help find a cure for diabetes.  You know, it's still a little ways out, so we want to help kids with diabetes to participate in life and learn how to be an adult and get into mainstream life with a disease," President of Sioux Falls Cosmopolitan Mark Buehler said.

"This check is amazing to us.  $15,000 is a huge, huge amount that means a lot of money that can be used for scholarships for campers," Matthes said.

Campers who otherwise might not get the same opportunity to make lasting friendships and memories with other kids who have diabetes.

"We try to do a lot of just the same things any kid would do at regular summer camp: swimming, games, activities, campfires, sing alongs, all of those things and we have medical staff there supervising them, so hopefully we can keep them medically safe," Matthes said.

This coming year, Camp Gilbert is June 8 - 13.  Learn more about Camp Gilbert and how you can donate online.

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