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Wednesday

April 2014

16

Bowling tourney aims to raise money for foster kids summer camp

Village of Hartland - During her 10 years of volunteering at a summer camp for foster children in the Racine area, Hartland resident Julie Holzli was profoundly touched by the effect that a week at camp could have in a child's life.

Recently, Holzli decided that it was time that Waukesha County foster kids had the same opportunity. This summer, Holzli plans to host 32 campers at the first Hartland Royal Family Kids camp, part of a network of camps across the country that cater to abused, neglected and abandoned children.

Royal Family Kids camps offer a week at an overnight summer camp, free of charge, to kids in the foster care system between the ages of 6 and 12. Kids will be referred to the Hartland camp through Waukesha County Human Services, Holzli said.

The faith-based camp is being sponsored by Oakwood Church in the City of Delafield, but the camp will be open to children of all faiths as well as those without any kind of religious background, Holzli said. While the summer camp will take place in Waukesha County, the camp's exact location is not being released for the safety and privacy of the campers, as some foster children are in protective custody.

Campers will spend the week enjoying traditional camp activities such as swimming, art and campfires. "The purpose of the camp is to let them be a kid for a week, that they don't have to worry about things," Holzli said.

Another, perhaps more important, goal of the camp is simply to share love with the kids, and give the campers good memories of someone treating them special, Holzli said. One of the highlights of the camp week is a birthday party, held because a lot of the campers don't ever get to celebrate their birthdays, Holzli said.

One of the reasons Holzli wanted to start a Waukesha County camp was to give local residents the opportunity to help children in need in their own area, Holzli said. The camp will be staffed entirely by volunteers, including Holzli and her husband, who will serve as camp directors.

Holzli is trying to raise at least $35,000 to cover the camp's startup costs. It costs about $500 to send one child to a week of camp.

This Saturday, Sunset Bowl in Waukesha will host a tournament to raise funds for the camp. Organizers hope to raise enough money to sponsor two campers, said Lynn Tyree-Cook, who manages the bowling alley and is organizing the tournament along with Jessica Reichert, a senior at Waukesha West High School.

The tournament will follow a Baker format, in which teams of five bowlers rotate bowling in each frame of a game. Teams can register ahead of time or on the day of the tournament. Adult division check-in will start at 10 a.m., while the junior division check-in starts at 1:30 p.m. A silent auction and raffle will also be held.

For more information about the camp or to donate online, visit www.hartland.royalfamilykids.org. Donations can also be dropped off at or mailed to Oakwood Church, 3041 Oakwood Road, Hartland WI 53029.

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