Philip MacKenzie considers himself a lucky man.
He’s had two triple heart by passes and is a cancer survivor.
It’s part of the reason why he likes to give back by helping others through various community projects.
A special cause to his heart is the Atlantic Burn Camp, which is held annual for youth who have suffered a severe burn.
“A burn is something that just don’t seem to go away,” says MacKenzie. “It’s not like a cut. A cut will heal, but a burn seems to leave a lifetime scar.”
For several years now, he’s made it a point to help out the camp on an annual basis. He’s helped collect guitars to teach the youth how to play, raised money for bikes for them to take out on trails, purchased sports equipment and helped raise money for an industrial washer. He’s also raised money in honour of Allan Bonvie by selling a CD of music he and Bonvie had made together.
This year, the New Glasgow resident is hoping to raise about $1,200 to help out the camp with the cost of operating such as taking kids on special trips and upgrading playground equipment.
The camp itself does its best to limit costs.
“The staff down there right from the janitor to the supervisor is all volunteer. There’s no money exchanged to anybody,” he said.
But there are costs such as renting the camp and taking the kids to special events that cost a fair bit.
Anyone who gives a monetary donation will be given a receipt for tax purposes.
People will also have the satisfaction of knowing they’ve had an impact on a young person’s life.
“It’s amazing how much fight these children have in them and how much initiative,” MacKenzie said. “This camp gives them a boost to know that people really care – that there’s people who really want them to succeed.”
For more information or to make a donation call MacKenzie at (902) 695-3632. It is preferred that cheques be used to make the donation.
The Atlantic Burn Camp Fast Facts
• Each year Atlantic Burn Camp accepts burn-injured children ages 6 to 17 from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. Camp is staffed by firefighters, law enforcement, medical personnel, teachers and community volunteers.
• Between 20 and 30 youth attend each year.
• Thanks to community and corporate support in the Atlantic Provinces, the Atlantic Burn Camp is able to maintain a no per-family cost for all campers.