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Make the Magic 2014!

This Sunday, we hosted our annual Make the Magic, a signature fundraising event that incorporates food, a silent auction, and guest speakers. While our student leaders talk about Camp Kesem to friends and family (pretty much nonstop) throughout the year, Make the Magic is always a really special opportunity to share the magic of Camp Kesem with our larger community. Camp Kesem volunteers worked for months leading up to the event, collaborating with our advisory board, local businesses, and camper families. Finally, on March 23, we all gathered at the absolutely lovely Miller Ward Alumni House and enjoying brunch catered by Emory Catering (including some very special Emory waffles–they say “Emory” on them, seriously how cool is that?!). Keep reading for a recap of the event, or click here to jump ahead to read what first-year coordinator Bean had to say about the event!









Jellybean, our debonair Development Coordinator, quickly became a crowd favorite as he welcomed everyone and (most importantly) directed us to the food! Once everyone was settled in and enjoying their frittata and bacon, Bojangles shared some of CK Emory’s major accomplishments, our mission and vision, and the impact that Camp Kesem has on the camper families and college students. If a picture is worth a thousand words, we figured that our camp video says it all so Squirt shared our video from camp last year, created by the truly talented Lightning. Two of our camper families joined us next for the family panel to share their stories pre- and post-Camp Kesem. Bam Bam, Tip, and Angie are one of our fifth-year families, and Doodlebug and Debbie are in their second year of the Camp Kesem family! Teen counselor Hollywood also joined them, giving our guests a sense of the second part of the Camp Kesem mission. We can’t thank them enough for being such powerful advocates for Camp Kesem and being so brave as to share a piece of themselves at our event. Their stories were so touching and heartfelt, reminding all of us that camp is more than just a week of fun—it truly has a life-long effect. (Bonus: they also taught everybody how to do The Jellyfish!)

Thanks to the incredible efforts and support of our donors, advisory board members, and students we were able to DOUBLE the amount raised at last year’s Make the Magic! Additional thanks to the dapper gentlemen in No Strings Attached for providing entertainment and Tom for photographing the event. We were very proud of what we achieved together with this event, but (as always!) are already looking forward to making things bigger and better next year. If you are interested in being a part of this event in 2015, please email emory@campkesem.org. If you would like to donate to help support this year’s camp, please visit our Friends of Camp Kesem page!


NSA      Crowd shot


As a freshman, I came to Emory’s Make the Magic 2014 not knowing what to expect. Overall, I loved the experience. The food was great (Southern people love their grits!), the venue and location was charming, and the program for the event was quite entertaining and engaging. However, the most distinctive impression I got from the event was actually as the ‘doorman’. I got to the venue before noon and helped a few others prepare and set up the room. I was designated to be the greeter and direct guests to the room upstairs. I came outside and welcomed people into the Miller Ward Alumni House for the next 30 minutes. This was when I realized the most surprising thing about my time at Make the Magic; as I welcomed the incoming guests, I realized how different everyone was and how each person was haphazardly and beautifully connected. Hollywood told a story about how her family was fighting cancer and how she signed up to be a summer counselor after finding a flyer about Camp Kesem in her college bathroom. Debbie shared a story about how she works in the medical field and was intrigued when she found out about Camp Kesem, a free summer camp for children whose parents are affected by cancer. People of all different ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, races, and religions came together, and it was wonderful to see how each person was willing to give for a common cause. The food, the a capella performance, and the lovely venue were splendid and memorable, but the thing I take away from that day is the common thread that linked us together for one brunch. This is the magic that we made that day.