The eastern Iowa camp that serves thousands of Iowans with disabilities every year is launching one of its largest annual fundraisers. Charlie Becker is executive director of Camp Courageous and he admits, he initially thought the idea of selling fruitcakes would be a tremendous flop.
“Back over 20 years ago, one of our board members came to me with the idea of baking fruitcakes and thought to myself, ‘What food has a worse reputation than fruitcakes?’ but lo and behold, it took off and has just done wonderfully.” Some years, as many as ten-thousand fruitcakes are sold at $10 each.
The camp is located near Monticello in eastern Iowa’s Jones County and is an annual respite for about 5,000 Iowans with visual, mental, physical or other disabilities. Becker says the camp is kept running, in part, thanks to holiday fruitcake sales.
“Once somebody eats one of these, they want to make sure they have one year after year,” he says.
Becker says the fruitcakes are hot sellers all over Iowa and far beyond the state’s borders. He says they sell to all 50 states, with a large bundle going to Hawaii, and to many foreign countries. A complete listing of Camp Courageous fruitcake dealers and how to order online can be found at “www.campcourageous.org” or by calling (319) 465-5916.
Camp Courageous was founded in 1972 when 40 acres of Jones County land was donated to establish a camp for people with disabilities near Monticello. In 1973, five buildings were built from donated labor and materials. By 1974, the camp was ready for its first campers, which totaled 211. Today, the camp is open year-round and has over 150 acres of land with 16 buildings. Annually, Camp Courageous serves over 5,000 campers ranging in age from one to 105.
Contirbuted by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City