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MDA's Pinup & Roundup Campaigns Kick Off Across the Nation to Support Summer Camp for Kids and Young Adults Living with Neuromuscular Diseases

Support from this retail campaign provides the opportunity for over 800 kids and young adults to experience a life-changing week-long summer camp at no cost to families.

NEW YORK, NY, May 20, 2024 — The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) announced today the launch of its annual MDA Summer Camp retail fundraising campaign, in collaboration with over 1,000 retail partner locations nationwide. From now through September, customers can participate in pinup and roundup campaigns at partnering stores including: Alaska Commercial Company (The NorthWest Company), Albertsons Companies Foundation, American Furniture Warehouse, BurgerWorks – Whataburger, Circle K, Food Depot, Gordon Foods, Graham C-Stores, Grahams Enterprises, Green Valley Grocery, Harps Food Store, Marden’s Surplus, Pete’s Market, SavOn Convenience Stores, Stine Home + Yard, Vallarta Supermarkets, Walgreens. To learn more about this campaign and to participate visit https://bit.ly/SummerRetail2024.

MDA's Summer Camp Pinups
MDA's Pinup & Roundup Campaigns Kick Off Across the Nation to Support Summer Camp for Kids and Young Adults Living with Neuromuscular Diseases like Emmaline and Gabe.

The funds raised go towards crucial support for MDA Summer Camp, offering transformative experiences for kids and young adults aged 8-17 who are living with muscular dystrophy or related neuromuscular diseases. Campers attend at no cost to their family. Additionally, funds from this campaign go towards accelerating research, advancing care, and advocating for families living with neuromuscular diseases.

“I’m so grateful to all the partners who support MDA Summer Camp each year. My favorite part is going back and seeing my friends and having a marvelous time. MDA Summer Camp has impacted me in so many ways, it’s made me see how independent I can be, and it has given me more confidence in myself – including being proud of who I am and not to be ashamed of my disability,” said Leah Zelaya, MDA National Ambassador. Watch Leah’s video here.

MDA Summer Camp will be held in 23 locations as well as virtually. The hybrid model means that any child in the United States living with a neuromuscular disease can still participate. Registration is open for campers and volunteers here.

“When kids attend summer camp, they gain independence, learn to accept, and direct personal care from someone other than their typical caregivers, try new things and build confidence, and spend time with peers who understand what it’s like to live with a neuromuscular disease.” said Alicia Dobosz, Vice President, Community Engagement, MDA. "It’s such a unique and life-changing program people look forward to. Camp truly gives campers a community of support for life."

MDA Summer Camp offers campers a week-long, unforgettable adventure filled with activities like swimming, zip-lining, sports, games, and cabin time with friends. Beyond the fun, campers gain invaluable life skills, forge lifelong friendships, and develop greater self-esteem and confidence. The camp experience fosters independence as campers learn to receive care away from home and build connections with peers who live with similar diagnoses.

MDA also offers an online program that brings the magic of camp to families virtually. Through daily Cabin Chat video calls, themed activities, and supply boxes sent to participants, virtual MDA Summer Camp ensures that campers can join in the fun from anywhere in the country. Virtual MDA Summer Camp provides a meaningful and accessible experience to campers wherever they are. Both in-person and virtual summer camp options are provided at no cost to MDA families.

Tracy Denton, Senior Vice President, Development Partnerships, MDA, emphasized the significance of these partnerships in providing opportunities for children and young adults living with neuromuscular diseases to simply enjoy childhood while building a foundation for a bright future. "The MDA Summer Camp experience not only creates future leaders and advocates for inclusion but also serves as a beacon of hope for families facing challenges. MDA Summer Camp has been offered to kids and young adults living with neuromuscular diseases since 1955. With advances in treatment and care, including over 20 FDA approved treatments for neuromuscular diseases, this is only the beginning of an empowered life ahead for campers.”

As the camp season approaches, MDA is actively recruiting volunteers, particularly camp counselors, to ensure that every camper can experience the ‘best week of the year.’ Volunteers must be over the age of 18. For more information on volunteer opportunities or to apply, visit the MDA website here. Watch MDA's Summer Camp volunteer video here.

Reflecting on the experience as a volunteer counselor at MDA Summer Camp, a camp counselor at the Illinois camp shared, “Camp is pure magic. If you've been once, it's the easiest decision in the world to return year after year.”

About Muscular Dystrophy Association

Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is the #1 voluntary health organization in the United States for people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. For over 70 years, MDA has led the way in accelerating research, advancing care, and advocating for the support of our families. MDA's mission is to empower the people we serve to live longer, more independent lives. To learn more visit mda.org and follow MDA on Instagram, Facebook, X, Threads, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube.