Carolyn Mullis spoke to the Chamber of Commerce last Thursday about Victory Junction, a Nascar-themed camp for chronically ill children.

The Petty family founded victory Junction in Randleman, N.C after their son died in a racing accident.  They donated 84 acres to build the camp.

Mullis described it as “one of the most amazing places in the world,” and it is funded “through the wonderful support of Nascar drivers and fans.”

More than 14,000 children and families have spent a summer week or a weekend at Victory Junction since it opened in 2004.  Children from every state in the U.S. as well as seven countries have attended camp.  Over 13,000 volunteers positions since 2004 have assisted in its operation.

Camp is free to children, thanks to donations from corporations, small businesses, and individuals.  Thirty hospitals provide medical assistance as well.  Campers’ chronic medical conditions include autism, cancer, diabetes, hemophilia, and spina bifida, among many others.

There are 35-40 full time staff members, and camp relies on 70 summer counselors and 70 volunteers each week.

Mullis said the camp provides an opportunity for kids to gain independence from their parents, learn from others with medical challenges, and make friends.

She encouraged chamber members to take a tour of the camp, and to get involved through volunteering or donating.

“It does take, not only a lot of volunteers, it takes money to keep this place open…one of the bad things about building a place like this is it takes a lot of money to keep it going,” said Mullis.  “You get a wonderful feeling when you’re there.  It’s just indescribable how it can lift your spirits.”

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