On Monday, Hoosier Burn Camp held their 12th Annual Golf Outing at the Lakes of the Four Seasons Golf Course in Crown Point. Hundreds gathered to golf, volunteer or just have a good time as the main reason for the Outing is to raise funds to help young burn survivors through Hoosier Burn Camp.
Hoosier Burn Camp is “A Place To Be Just One Of The Kids” and since 1997 they have worked to give positive, character-building experiences to young people who have suffered the pain and trauma of a burn injury.
“Today is, honestly, a multitude of things,” said Mark Koopman, Hoosier Burn Camp Executive Director. “It’s like a family reunion in some regards because we’ve been doing this for 12 years. When you’ve been doing an event that long not only does it show how successful the organization is but people have been coming to the outing for 12 years now and they look forward to it.”
“It’s about community,” Koopman continued. “James Tudor ties people in the community together. I don’t know how many people that I’ve talked to that have said, you know, ‘I met James here and I met James there.’ When a community comes together like this it brings people even closer together. Twelve years is a long time! For there to be 136 golfers out here today, that says something.”
Many children from Northwest Indiana have experienced Hoosier Burn Camp and the activities that work to build confidence, encourage perseverance, build self-esteem and develop courage to overcome fears and build strengths and independence.
“Hoosier Burn Camp is about helping kids,” said James Tudor, who chairs the Northwest Indiana fundraising team for Hoosier Burn Camp. “Today’s about helping the Hoosier Burn Camp and helping leaders like Mark Koopman, because it is helping the community, and the community is about relationships. I can’t think of a better person to be a director of this.”
Koopman reciprocated those sentiments in saying, “what I feel for this guy, as a man and just who he is and the cloth that he is cut from, is just rare.”
Region resident, Ann Lichnerowicz, got the chance to visit the Hoosier Burn Camp this year and spoke about what an impression it left upon her. Tudor had introduced Lichnerowicz to Hoosier Burn Camp and during her visit she got the chance to meet Koopman and some of the children.
“I had gone for the first time and we pulled in and there were these fire trucks everywhere and there was this giant American flag right in the middle of it, it was amazing,” Lichnerowicz said. “They were bringing all the kids in on top of all the trucks and on motorcycles and we met some kids and we also met some of the kids who were old enough to work there. They had went there as kids and came back to be camp leaders. All of them were so outgoing and they felt like, ‘this is their place.’ It was very humbling.”
To find out more about Hoosier Burn Camp, visit www.hoosierburncamp.org.