Each chapter of Camp Kesem has their own personal Advisory Board–leaders of the local community that pledge to aid each chapter in their fundraising, event planning, and other tasks. Our advisory board is extra special!
Miriam Bryant graduated from William and Mary in 1984 with a BA in Religion. She has spent her entire career working in Human Resources for municipal government, first with the City of Newport News and then with the City of Virginia Beach. Since 2000, she has been assigned as the HR Coordinator for the Virginia Beach Police Department. She has two children, Mark and Katie, who both traitorously chose UVA for their college education. Mark, aka “Shaggy,” is currently a Program Director for Camp Kesem and lives in Kings Beach, California in the Lake Tahoe area. Katie will graduate from UVA in May and hopes to teach English in Japan. Miriam is married to John who is a retired Virginia Beach police officer and a former pilot instructor.
Why Kesem? It was hard to say “no” to my son Mark who has been a Kesem participant since his first year at UVA. But, more importantly, I don’t know anyone whose life has not been touched by cancer in some way. I lost a close friend to colon cancer in 1999 and another friend has been on a cancer journey for the last four years. My sister Martha died from cancer in November 2012 at the young age of 55. I guess you could say it is “personal.” What better way to honor those I have known than to be part of an organization that helps kids be kids during a time when cancer has turned their lives upside down.
Sherri (Bear) graduated with a BA in Sociology from a small university in Michigan, and is currently the Assistant General Manager of American Family Fitness in Williamsburg. She spent her summers in between college as a camp counselor just outside of Williamsburg. After college, Sherri spent 5 years as the Program Director of Makemie Woods and Program Support for Camp Jordan, a camp for kids with diabetes, as well as Mikey’s Camp, an event for Kidz’Grief out of Bon Secours in Hampton Roads.
Why does Sherri Kesem? Youth development has always been important to Sherri. She feels that a camp experience, especially, and being surrounded by others who understand your current situation is essential to healthy development.
Patti “Charlie” Dwyer
She has been a kindergarten teacher at Walsingham Academy for 22 years.