Camp Māk-A-Dream in Gold Creek, Montana, gives children, teens and young adults with cancer a chance to enjoy camp at no cost to families. The Michigan Chapter of Friends of Camp Māk-A-Dream will hold the “Sips, Strings & Dreams” fundraiser June 25 at the Grosse Pointe Academy in Grosse Pointe Farms.

Camp Māk-A-Dream in Gold Creek, Montana, gives children, teens and young adults with cancer a chance to enjoy camp at no cost to families. The Michigan Chapter of Friends of Camp Māk-A-Dream will hold the “Sips, Strings & Dreams” fundraiser June 25 at the Grosse Pointe Academy in Grosse Pointe Farms.

Photo provided by Friends of Camp Māk-A-Dream, Michigan Chapter


Sips, Strings & Dreams to send kids to camp

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published June 18, 2019

GROSSE POINTE FARMS/ROYAL OAK — Once a year, children, teens and young adults with cancer have the opportunity to forget their worries and spend a week at Camp Māk-A-Dream in Gold Creek, Montana, at no cost to families.

For one week, they swim, go horseback riding, try archery or rock climbing, have a blast zip lining, play miniature golf, attend dances and more. Gold Creek is about 60 miles west of the state capital, Helena.

“It’s a week of sunup to sundown of action for the kids,” said Pete Grimes, executive director of the Michigan Chapter of Friends of Camp Māk-A-Dream, based in Royal Oak. “The kids get to bond with the other kids and the staff.”

Camp Māk-A-Dream is open to kids and young adults with cancer ages 7-21 from throughout the U.S. and Europe. About 80 young people from Michigan attend each year between spring and early fall. Parents don’t attend camp with their children. Instead, chaperones take care of the campers during their stay. There are usually 60 kids at camp at a time.

While attending the camp is free for families, they have to pay for transportation for their children to fly to Montana and back. To help with those costs, the Michigan Chapter of Friends of Camp Māk-A-Dream is partnering with the Grosse Pointe Academy, or GPA, to host the Sips, Strings & Dreams fundraiser June 25 at the GPA. The cost is $100 per person, and tickets are still on sale.

Registration will take place at 6:30 p.m.; wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served from 7 to 8 p.m.; and four members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will perform from 8 to 9 p.m. The event will be held in the school’s second-level library.

According to a Friends of Camp Māk-A-Dream, Michigan Chapter, press release, Harry and Sylvia Granader founded Camp Māk-A-Dream, which has welcomed more than 8,000 kids, teens, siblings, women campers and young adults since it was founded in 1995.

“He had some property in Montana,” Hadar Granader said of his late brother. “He built the camp by himself. Montana itself is gorgeous.”

Granader’s brother had owned a McDonald’s restaurant franchise and had a background in building, as after serving in World War II, he became a builder of homes and shopping centers. He always liked the idea of the Ronald McDonald Houses that provide a place for families to stay whose children are hospitalized nearby.

“He said, ’This is wonderful for the parents,’” Granader said.

The students who visit Camp Māk-A-Dream are grouped by ages: 6-13, 13-18 and 18-21. Granader said Camp Māk-A-Dream gives the kids a chance to forget about their illnesses.

“We want the kids to feel free. There’s nobody staring or looking at them. Some are missing a leg or an arm or have no hair,” Granader said. “They can talk to kids about themselves. They have a chance to build these lifelong relationships. To see the smiles on the kids’ faces is everything.”

On the camp property is a main lodge and an activities building. When it’s time to call it a night, the campers retreat to their cabins, where they kick back and talk with their fellow campers.

The camp also has a health facility where there is a doctor, a nurse and a pharmacist available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, there are four infirmary beds.

Granader said that after camp, the kids stay in touch with each other via social media. Some return to camp year after year.

Camp organizers also welcome siblings of the children living with cancer to enjoy camp at a different time from their brothers and sisters.

Granader hopes to raise $10,000 during the June 25 event. Grimes said fundraisers to benefit the camp are held throughout the year. He has visited the Camp Māk-A-Dream when it’s in full swing.

“The camp is wonderful,” Grimes said. “It’s an inclusive place.”

For more information on Sips, Strings & Dreams or for tickets, call (248) 723-5575 or visit the Camp Māk-A-Dream website at www.campdreammich.org.

The Grosse Pointe Academy is located at 171 Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Farms.