Every winter there is a strange but courageous group of people who in the month of January put on their bathing suits and head up to Mount Wachusett. Why would this strange group of people do this? Because they are dedicated. Dedicated to helping an organization that they feel so strongly about, an organization that without the help of fundraising and volunteers would never be able to offer what they do to families all over the world.

The services this organization offers are incredible: respite, relaxation and fun, yes fun, for families who have a child with a life-threatening illness. Unfortunately too many families fall into this category, some that you may know, others that you perhaps don't, but all need someplace to escape the ongoing battles that their children endure each and every day.

When people talk about childhood illnesses they should also be talking about family illnesses, an illness does not just affect one sick child, it affects the family as a whole. Daily visits to the hospital, the effects of steroid treatments and chemotherapy, blood testing if not daily then weekly, scans of all kinds. These children endure more than you or I could ever imagine in our lifetime, yet they have not only imagined it but lived it in their young lives.

The organization that helps to give happiness and respite if just for one week is called Camp Sunshine. What's in a name? Well, in this one it is just that, whether a family attends in the middle of winter or the middle of summer, they are sure to find sunshine from the faces of the staff to the faces of the volunteers.


So this is why these crazy people go to Mount Wachusett every February to "Freeze for a Reason."

Several locals who volunteer at the camp have a team that will be there again this year. The team is hoping to raise at least $2,000 the cost to cover one family for one week at camp. Camp is free for all families. If you would like to donate to this fundraiser you may go to: crowdrise.com/wachusettpolardip2014/event/join. Slide down to team "Freezin for Team Little Marty," choose a participant and make a donation, easy as that. If you prefer, you can send a check made out to Camp Sunshine and send it either directly to Camp Sunshine at 35 Acadia Road, Casco, ME 04015 or mail to Attn: Team Leader Samantha Brouillette, 79 Highland St., Townsend, MA 01469, please make sure to write on memo line Wachusett Polar Plunge and participant's name that you are backing. Thank you all for taking the time to read this, and for more information on Camp Sunshine, visit campsunshine.org.