Kenowa Courier – 10/15/19

GVSU Senior Recreational Therapy student Raina Rodriquez was our speaker today. Our club provided a scholarship to Raina for her field experience this summer at the Roundup River Ranch in Gypsum, CO. where she staffed 6 weeks of kids camp and 2 weeks of family camp all focused on children with disabilities. There was a disability theme each week: cranial-facial week, blood disorder week, kidney week, G.I. week, oncology week, etc. All campers attend this camp at no cost as Roundup River Ranch and other such camps across the country are part of a string established by actor Paul Newman and funded from the profits of his “Newman’s Own” food brand.

It was clear Raina had a very impactful experience that reached far beyond the s’mores, hiking, bean bag boating, archery, fishing, no hands spaghetti dinners and stage nights at the Ranch. She formed deep connections with her campers and her fellow staff members and learned to apply rec therapy to patients in a real world setting that will help her as she completes her internship next summer and looks forward to taking the exam required to obtain her therapist license. Raina, who also attended Denim & Diamonds with her fiancé on Friday and shared her experience via video at that event, was extremely appreciative of our club’s assistance in making this experience possible for her. GVSU Recreational Therapy Professor Susan Sunden attended with Raina and took a great deal of interest in how our club might be a resource for other students in that program that graduates 40 new therapists each year. Thanks to Raina for sharing her story and pictures with us.

Denim & Diamonds A Success

One of our club’s two major fundraisers, the 6th annual Denim & Diamonds, was held last Friday at the Pinnacle Center and was hugely successful in raising awareness of the Ambuc mission and raising funds for it in a very fun environment. Chair Beth Pastoor (great job to you and your committee, Beth) reported $29,000 in gross receipts that will translate to $9,000-$10,000 net to each of the Kenowa and Walker Ambuc clubs. Participant reviews were extremely positive and will help launch us toward the 2020 event. Thanks to everyone who worked on the event, sponsored it, provided auction items, attended, etc. I’m sure we will see photos on our website and Facebook page (if they are not already there).

Chapter Miscellaneous

Congratulations: To Brad Cook on the birth last weekend of granddaughter, Olivia. 6 pounds 8 oz.

Condolences: On the passing of former member and retired Jenison teacher Brenda Clark who succumbed to cancer early this week.

Chapter Christmas Social Event: The Kenowa Ambuc Christmas event will be held the evening of Tuesday, December 17. Please note there will be no regular lunch meeting that day.

Ambucs Radio PSA: Ron VanSurksum is the latest to record a radio spot for broadcast on “the new Jethro” with the help of Scott Pastoor. If you are interested in participating in this combined business spotlight/Ambuc plug, contact Scott ( and he will make it very easy for you.

Chapter Board: The next Board meeting is at noon next Tuesday, October 22 at Grandville City Hall.

Medical Equipment Loans: Refer any medical equipment loan contacts to the Family Network of Wyoming, 1029 44th Street SW, Wyoming (616) 885-9919

Big Hat Days: The first club meeting of September, December, March and June are Big Hat Days (BHD). Big Hatters, please wear your Stetsons to the club meeting on those dates. Next BHD is December 3.

Fun Fact (Summer Camp Edition): According to, “bug juice”, a popular camp term referring to the flavored drink served by many camps at mealtimes, has military origins. American soldiers were provided with fruit flavored powdered drink mix they combined with water. The sugary drink attracted insects so the soldiers dubbed it “bug juice”.

Quote of the Day: “Camp is where I learned about me; facing fears, trying new things, pushing my boundaries and accepting myself.” – Anon


October 22: Chapter Board Meeting. Noon @ Grandville City Hall

Nov 5: Chapter Meeting (Noon @ Sunnybrook). Sponsor Recognition Lunch.

Nov 19: Chapter Meeting (Noon @ Sunnybrook). Speaker TBD.

Dec 17: Chapter Christmas Party. No noon meeting.

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