Driven to Achieve

Driven to Achieve

The Albert and Ann Deshur JCC Rainbow Day Camp is a place of smiles, fresh air, and friendship. And some of those friends have been so for many, many years.

One of those friends is Dr. David Margolis, who specializes in treating children with cancer at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. A former camper and counselor himself, Dr. Dave has been a strong – if quiet – partner in ensuring camp has been available for all. Because of those efforts, and the good work of the JCC Rainbow Day Camp Team, special recognition is being paid to the culture of inclusivity and quality in Fredonia.

Dr. Dave has been named a recipient of the “Driven to Achieve Award” by the Donald Driver Foundation for his leadership in creating “Rainbow Camp” at JCC Rainbow Day Camp. As part of the recognition, JCC Rainbow Day Camp – led by camp director Lenny Kass and a program of the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center – will receive a $40,000 grant to continue and deepen the impact of its program.

“Dr. Dave has been a fierce advocate not just for the kids in his professional care – but for every child throughout the community we’re blessed to serve,” said JCC President & Chief Executive Officer Mark Shapiro. “We’re so very proud of this recognition, and of the work Dr. Dave and Lenny do in our community, but we’re even more proud of the partnerships that empower our JCC Rainbow Day Camp team to provide these children and families the moments of normalcy and joy they deserve.”

At the conclusion of the regular summer camp season JCC Rainbow Day Camp offers a full week program, in partnership with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, where patients and their siblings or friends attend camp free of charge. Knowing that pediatric patients often are excluded from the normal experiences of childhood, a specialized camp program is built for these children and their medical team (a doctor, two nurses and a social worker) to deliver a safe and lasting summer experience. With a sibling or friend at their side, the better to ease into camp, JCC Rainbow Day Camp becomes the place where families forget about illnesses and hospitals for a day.

“We believe in partnering to build a healthier Milwaukee, and Dr. Dave and Lenny prove that commitment out every year with Children’s Hospital and Rainbow Camp,” added Shapiro. “Beyond being an exceptional doctor, a lifelong JCC supporter, and a passionate leader in Milwaukee – Dr. Dave is a mensch, a person of integrity and honor. I can’t think of a more deserving person or program to receive this honor, and we thank Donald Driver and his team for his continued recognition of all the leaders making a difference in this community.”

Rainbow Camp is just one aspect of the program’s overarching efforts to make camp accessible for the entire community. Beyond the traditional day camp experience, the JCC Rainbow Day Camp team has created industry-leading programs to support families with special needs, economic challenges, and additional physical or emotional obstacles. Known as “Road to Rainbow”, it’s an effort rooted in the belief that every child – of every ability, background, or means – deserves an opportunity to build relationships and enjoy new experiences under the summer sky at JCC Rainbow Day Camp.