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Camp Ondessonk Receives $13,000 Bequest

Camp Ondessonk has received a bequest of $13,000 from the estate of Liz Zelenka, a former camper, CIT, and staff member who passed away on January 5, 2010.

The gift was one of the largest in recent history, and one that arrives just as Camp is launching their 2012 Annual Appeal, jumpstarting the $90,000 drive that ends 12/31/12.

Liz’s sister Michele Tapling said, “She was a humble person who did a lot of good, but was always in the background.   Camp Ondessonk was a very special place for her, and me, and my sisters.”

Liz was a camper in the late 60’s, a Lodge member, CIT, staff member, lifeguard and unit leader, proudly achieving the rank of “Ranger.” As an adult, she attended Lodge reunions, served on the Camp Ondessonk board of directors, and helped with fundraising by utilizing her skills as a political fundraiser to benefit Camp.

Michele remembers, “Liz was in Tekakwitha, and went to camp by herself that first year. Mom was so worried that she would be lonely, but of course she made lots of friends.”

Liz’s sister Cynthia also told a special story about how Liz, as a 13 year old camper, took charge of a group of campers (including her sister) who became separated from the rest of their unit as they were returning to camp from their overnight camp-out during a big thunderstorm. They didn’t make it back to their unit, but Liz led them to safety with another unit. “It was very scary…this was just one example of Liz’s leadership and spontaneity to step up and take charge when needed, even at such a young age.”

“Liz was energetic, fun and wildly enthusiastic about camp. She just loved it and lived for it and couldn’t wait for it to come each year,” said Michele.  Liz’s bequest was her way “to signify what a treasured place Camp was in her heart.”

Camp Ondessonk celebrates the life of our friend Liz. Her bequest will allow us to continue serving our campers with the programs she cherished. She personified “Camp Spirit!”

If you would like more information about how you can remember Camp Ondessonk in your estate planning, please contact Connie Lanaghan at 618-980-3335 or at connie.lanaghan@ondessonk.com.

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