The McGaw YMCA has received a grant of $1 million from the Davee Foundation to Camp Echo. This grant will establish an endowment, the “Ken M. Davee Scholarship Fund,” which will allow the McGaw Y’s Camp Echo to expand its efforts to make camp accessible to all Evanston youth, regardless of their ability to pay. It will directly benefit the future of Camp Echo’s fee-assistance program, which provides financial support to children who otherwise could not afford to attend camp.

This gift ensures many more Evanston youth can benefit from the lifelong impact of the camp experience. “There is no other program in our community that produces the strength of relationships that are forged at camp,” said Bernard Rocca, Branch Executive Director, Camp Echo. “Campers return to Evanston with increased independence, confidence, and leadership skills that stay with them for life.” He added, “We are so thankful for the Davee Foundation’s thoughtful and meaningful donation.”

A distribution from the endowment will provide $20,000 this summer, helping at least 20 campers with fee assistance for 2018. Starting in 2019, a minimum of $40,000 per year will be provided to expand the fee-assistance program to help at least 40 campers. In the years that follow, up to 4% of the value of the fund will be applied to the Camp Echo fee assistance program annually, in perpetuity.

“The Davee Foundation felt compelled to make a contribution to Camp Echo that would have a lasting impact,” said Foundation Spokesperson James W. Dugdale, Jr. “We know the camp experience provides opportunity for personal growth, creation of lifelong friendships, the opportunity to live closer to nature, and hopefully, from having received this scholarship, a desire to give back to others later in life.”