PCA Potomac's Link to Carol Jean
Last Updated: Monday, 25 August 2014 15:50
Why Camp Friendship?
By Mark Francis
Back sometime in the summer of 1997 or thereabouts, my good friend and fellow PCA member Doug Knorpp wanted me to take a ride out to a camp where his girlfriend Joanie (she’s now Mrs. Knorpp) was working. He explained on the car ride that the camp was called Camp Friendship and it was for children, stricken with various forms of cancer, and their siblings to have some fun and get a break from their treatments. Joanie volunteered there every summer.
Fast forward another year or so and while I was over at Doug and Joanie’s to cookout and partake in a few adult beverages, we kicked around the idea of PCA Potomac doing a rally or another activity to raise money for Camp Friendship. Joanie explained that the camp was part of the Carol Jean Cancer Foundation, which was founded by Beverly Gough in memory of her sister who was a victim of cancer. Joanie also said that the Foundation relied heavily on private donations to keep Camp Friendship open every summer. Given that Camp Friendship wasn’t a widely known organization like some other more prominent ones, fund raising wasn’t always easy.
Fast forward again to 2001: I was in my first year as der Vorganger’s editor, so as a board member, I was a regular attendee at the monthly club board meetings. When we started discussing a public service activity, Camp Friendship popped into my head and I suggested doing a rally that would finish at the Camp while the kids were there. The idea grew to conclude with a “Campers’ Choice Concours.” I got Doug and Joanie in the loop. Joanie spoke with Bev, and she loved the idea. My girlfriend and future wife, Caren, was President at the time, and she and the rest of the board liked the idea. So she and I worked closely with Rally Chair Bob Cesare to put on the first Camp Friendship Rally and Camper’s Choice Car Show. The smiles on all the kids’ faces as they got to sit in and pose for photos of their favorite Porsche was priceless. They seemed to enjoy it more and more each year. If I remember correctly, the first year we had around 9 cars. By the 3rd year we were well over 20 cars.
The Camp Friendship Rally continued each year thereafter and Caren and I continued to map out the route in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Caren was Rally Chair in 2003, while I served as the official helper and photographer. Each year, the car counts grew, and so did the generosity of our members. Many pulled out their checkbooks after getting a tour of the facilities and seeing the smiles all around. In 2005, Caren and I moved to Charlottesville. It was great to see that PCA Potomac and the subsequent Rally Chairs continued to hold the event annually, along with other activities like the charity auctions we have done at the Summit Point Club Race.
Camp Friendship is a special place that brings joy to local children dealing with various forms of cancer, along with their families. I am very happy to see The Founders’ Region continue to support such a worthy cause.
About the Author: Mark works at OG Racing and has been a PCA member since 1992 and has been an active instructor and club racer since 2000.