Aurora Day Camp Honors Beth Friedman
Education & CampLocal

Aurora Day Camp Honors Beth Friedman

Friedman has served as a founding member of the camp’s leadership board since 2017.

Beth Friedman welcomes campers to Aurora Day Camp.
Beth Friedman welcomes campers to Aurora Day Camp.

On Feb. 19, at its annual benefit, Aurora Day Camp presented the Aurora Champion Award to board member Beth Friedman.

This was the second gala for the camp, which is Georgia’s only full-time summer day camp for children with cancer and their siblings. Friedman has served as a founding member of the camp’s leadership board since 2017. According to Executive Director Gregory Hill, the award recognizes a leader who best represents and embodies the spirit of the camp.

Beth Friedman was honored with the 2022 Aurora Champion Award.

“Beth has been a tireless community connector who inspires and motivates others to rally around a great cause — to bring joy to children with cancer and their siblings,” he said. “She understands why it is so important to help these kids get through a very difficult time in their lives.”

Hill remembers his first meeting with Friedman and recounted a story of how she concluded her visit. Uttering just four words — “How can I help?” — Friedman set in motion a journey that ultimately has raised thousands of dollars for the camp and enlisted the assistance of dozens of volunteers over the past four years.

Friedman has served in many capacities at Aurora Day Camp, both as a board member and volunteer. She was the walk chair in 2019, helping to raise more than $80,000. She continues to play an active role, securing year-round donations and volunteers, creating Aurora gift bags for patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, requesting auction items for the annual benefit and volunteering at all events, including this year’s “Trunk or Treat” for Halloween. Hill emphasized that Friedman is always willing to roll up her sleeves to help the camp.

Son, Zach Friedman, and Ian Maman volunteer at “Trunk or Treat.”

Board Chair Stacy Sutton echoed Hill’s sentiments. “From my perspective, Beth Friedman has done more for Aurora Day Camp than anyone who’s not on the staff. I am constantly impressed with her positive energy and enthusiasm! Despite Beth’s busy life and three teenage sons, she never misses a meeting or event — and she goes above and beyond by helping to organize every meeting, hosting it and providing food.” Sutton emphasized that Friedman is an inspiration and role model for charitable engagement and board service.

Friedman, in her inimitable and humble manner, insisted that the focus should be on the organization, not on her. “My goal always is to share the mission and magic of Aurora Day Camp,” she said. “I simply want to spread awareness of this very special day camp throughout Atlanta. In fact, although I was initially hesitant to accept this award, I agreed to do so if I can be a vehicle to generate interest and excitement about Aurora.”

The yearly Color War Games and the first day of camp are two of Friedman’s favorite camp experiences. “There is nothing like seeing the kids’ faces on their first day or at the activities they love,” she said. And having the children’s siblings at the camp with them gives them an opportunity to experience camp together, whether on selected days throughout the summer or the entire season.

Volunteers help the camp year-round.

Event organizers wanted to make this year’s “Dare to Dream” an especially memorable night. Affairs to Remember catered the event, held at Factory Atlanta.

Event organizers held both a live and silent auction, with packages including tickets to Hawks games, a week at a luxury home in Key West and a private plane for three people. More than 250 guests attended.

Campers and counselors pose for an impromptu photo.

Last summer, Aurora served 150 children from 17 counties. Campers are allowed to attend the entire summer, and all programs are free of charge. Throughout the year, Aurora serves more than 1,000 children through its summer day camp, reunion programs and in-hospital recreational activities.

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