On June 12, 2016, members of Centauri’s leadership team met some of our trusted partners in the Adirondack Mountains for the Lake Placid Half Marathon. This is the fourth year, Centauri has coordinated a half marathon with its partners.
This year’s premier race was held in the charming Olympic Village of Lake Placid, New York USA home of the 1932 & 1980 Winter Games. Our runners came to Lake Placid with another goal in mind…to raise money for a good cause.
Our runners took pledges prior to the race which were matched by Centauri resulting in a $4,500 donation to The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota. The charity was chosen because it is near and dear to the heart of Cory McNattin of Guy Carpenter, a partner who participated in this year’s race. Cory’s 9-year-old daughter, Lauren, has epilepsy and the organization provides donations to a summer camp for children with epilepsy. The funds help to subsidize the camper costs making it is more affordable for children to attend. The cost to attend the camp is around $1,800 per child, but campers only pay about a quarter of that cost thanks to generous donations and sponsorships including those from the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota.
Camp Oz is a one-week camping program held in June for children and teens who have epilepsy. It combines a traditional camp experience with the security of a specialty-trained on-site medical and behavioral staff, making it possible for campers to spend time away from home safely while making friends and experiencing a variety of recreational activities. For most children with epilepsy and seizure disorders, the idea of going away to a traditional camps isn’t a reality because of their special medical needs.
“They have 24-hour medical staff on hand to ensure the safety of all campers,” said McNattin. “That really provided peace of mind for my wife and me as Lauren was away. We knew she was having fun and we also knew she was safe and cared for if something were to happen.”
Camp Oz is situated on 152 wooded acres including a waterfront, lodge and rustic cabins. Children can participate in a variety of activities including swimming, fishing, canoeing, sailing, cookouts, skits, games, campfires and a high ropes course. Campers are also able to ride, feed and brush horses which is Lauren’s favorite thing to do at camp.
Lauren’s fondest memory of camp was when she got to fingerpaint in the art building with her cabin friends and counselors. “We got paint all over ourselves,” she said. “It was so fun and I will remember it for a very long time.”
The camp gives participants a unique and memorable summertime experience while gaining a better understanding of epilepsy, learning more about their medications, and meeting others who know what it’s like to live with seizures.
“Attending the camp has given Lauren the opportunity to meet new friends and have loads of fun,” said McNattin. “It has really made Lauren feel like she’s not alone in having epilepsy. Prior to Camp Oz, she hadn’t ever met other kids with epilepsy. Being at camp, surrounded by other kids who also have epilepsy was a very comforting and normalizing experience for her.”
Lauren echoed the same sentiment about her experiences at Camp Oz. “I liked finally meeting other kids who have epilepsy too,” said Lauren. “It made me feel better because for a long time I didn’t know anyone else who had epilepsy, but now I know I’m not alone.”