The annual YMCA Camp Reed Gourmet Dinner and Auction fundraiser will be held
Saturday, October 13 at Northern Quest Casino. Lisa Vogt, who serves as co-director
with her husband Tom, spoke to Spokane CDA Woman about the unique needs and
challenges of her job and just how important the annual fundraiser is.
SCW: You’ve said that when you’re not working at the camp in the summer, you’re
raising money. What are your primary fundraising tools?
LV: The day after camp ends, we turn our full attention to the Camp Reed Gourmet
Dinner and Auction. Our Camp Reed staff are on hand to make this a highlight event for
alumni and community leaders. Throughout the off-season we also focus on developing
our community collaborations. We are grateful for our significant partnerships with the
Kalispel Tribe of Indians, Cancer Care Northwest, Nishinomiya School District and the
Spokane Country Club Pride Cup Golf Tournament. This fall we are also kicking off a
Camp Reed Endowment, which will ensure that the legacy continues.
SCW: You’ve been at Camp Reed for more than a decade. How have the numbers of
campers needing scholarships or financial assistance changed, especially with the current
LV: I think the need for financial assistance has always been there, but over the last
several years we have been very intentional in raising money for camperships for the
lowest income children in our community. With my husband Tom and the support of a
fabulous Camp Reed board, we have formed a grassroots collaboration with community
leaders and organizations to raise our annual campership numbers from 30 to over 350
last year. Our theme has been Local Heroes Supporting Local Kids.
SCW: An impressive number of Spokane professionals, both men and women, spent time
at Camp Reed as either a camper or counselor, or both. And many families have been
regulars for generations. How do you account for that kind of loyalty and affection for
LV: There are a million reasons to love Camp Reed. Children feel safe and have a ton
of fun! Many alumni feel a debt to Camp Reed for the difference it made in their own
personal development and life choices. Also, Camp Reed is mission-driven. Every choice
we make regarding facility, program or development, we always ask whether it is in line
with our mission. As directors, we require that all of our staff memorize our mission
statement and it is part of every Camp Reed Board agenda and meeting.
SCW: How can people get involved?
LSV: Send a kid to camp! If you are interested in making a significant difference in the
life of a local child, give them an opportunity to spend a week at traditional camp. They
will experience the magic of the outdoors, meet counselors and junior counselors who
are excellent role models and have the opportunity to make new friends. They can try
something new like archery, arts and crafts or just have a swim in the lake. For many of
our campership children, this is the only opportunity they have all summer to be outside
SCW: I’m sure you must have a wish list. What would you like to see at Camp Reed?
How would you like it to grow or improve?
LV: Camp Reed gives children hope. My wish list is that our campers feel loved,
empowered and encouraged to be the best person they can be. I hope that through
challenging them spiritually, mentally, socially, and physically they will grow and
experience life beyond their perceived limitations. Often we have children that are facing
challenges at home, at school or in their family life. Sometimes life can be very hard for
children, yet they have so much potential. Sometimes they just need someone to believe
in them, which is what we try to do at camp. My staff has let me know that if THEY had
one wish for the camp facility it would be that some generous family, grant or company
would sponsor an outdoor covered program area that would be able to accommodate
SCW: Besides memories and laundry, what do you believe each camper brings home
after a week at camp?
LV: Hopefully campers also bring home a sense of accomplishment for successfully
being away from home; trying new things and making new friends. At camp they are
given lots of choices and there is opportunity for unstructured play and adventures,
which is where the creativity can really blossom. We have been delighted to find out
that campers DON’T miss their phones, computers or electronic games. They thrive on
disconnecting from electronics and connecting with new friends and great staff.
SCW: The annual auction is coming up. Besides purchasing a ticket to the gala, are there
other ways to contribute?
LV: We need event sponsors and donations of auction items, as well as table captains.
It’s amazing how much progress we have been able to make with people just being
willing to be generous.
Note: Auction tickets are still available. For more information go to campreed.org or call