Danny Cavett is the founder of Cavett Kids Foundation and Camp, but I new him from when he was a pastor in my hometown and I
was a part of his youth group called the Jet Cadets! I
learned valuable lessons of Character, Coping and Connection from him as
he taught our group life skills that would stick with us forever.
Fast forward to 2010 when I was invited to serve as the
auctioneer for the Cavett Kids Got Talent fundraiser and it was there that
I saw the true impact one man can have in life! I was hooked and I have been
involved with the organization ever since. As the newly hired director, it
is an honor and pleasure to work with Danny as we bring to
life his dream of providing opportunities for youth
with different illnesses. Our staff and volunteers bring a
smile as they help over 12,000 youth each year through camp settings and
diversionary play/therapy activities at OU Children's Hospital. What this organization is able to do with the
limited resources available is truly remarkable and creates an environment “Where
the illness doesn’t define the Child!” I encourage each of you reading this to
view are webpage as well as contact us for more information on how you too can
make a difference in the life of a child who is facing their own personal
battle with illness!!! Thank you in advance for your time and potential support
in this endeavor and we truly wish each and every person good health and
happiness in life!!!!
I became involved with Cavett Kids Foundation for a simple reason – I absolutely love children, and particularly want to be a part of something that provides love and support for sick children. I have been a Registered Nurse for over 39 years, and my work experience has always involved some level of Pediatric nursing. During my career I have had the opportunity to care for all types of sick children, from those who are temporarily ill to those who have a chronic disease, or even a life threatening illnesses. Each one of these children is so very special, and has a special gift that is only God given. To be able to participate in their lives at Camp Cavett events through the Cavett Kids Foundation has been a very fulfilling experience.
I began going to Camp in 2001, as a volunteer counselor in one of the cabins. As I prepared to go to my first Camp, I anticipated having opportunities to make a difference in some of these kids’ lives – little did I know that I would be the one with the life-changing experiences! Being able to play with, talk with, and have fun with these kids has given to me an incredible insight and increased love for children with medical challenges.
The successes these special kids experience at camp are so meaningful to them, so heartfelt. Our kids deal with issues far beyond their young years; to be able to go to camp for just a little while and to be able to feel “normal” is so very special to our campers. Not only do we provide a fun and safe environment for our kids, we teach them about the 3C’s; Character, Coping, and Connection. Cavett Kids provides the kids a variety of educational events, each emphasizing the importance of Character, which increases their self-esteem and self-confidence. The campers also begin to have a better understanding of their disease processes, but by teaching them Coping skills, they learn that nothing can limit what they can achieve! They learn interpersonal skills and self-care while at camp, and we give them tools to deal with any social challenge they may be experiencing. The fun, non-threatening setting that Camp provides allows for the Campers to develop deep friendships and trust, and these Connections provide a foundation for success with significant relationships throughout their life time.
To see a child come back to camp year after year, demonstrating a positive attitude using the three C’s taught at Camp Cavett, is an experience that is personally very enriching. Having an older child reach out to you with a hug and a smile, and say Thank You for loving them and caring for them when they were sick, to be able to say Thank You for lifting them up when there were times that they didn’t know if they’d even survive their illness – well, that just can’t be measured. To have a previous Camper who is now a young mother introduce you to her new baby, and while you’re holding and admiring that baby the mother tells you that you were a part of her very survival that lead to this new precious little life, well, I really can’t put into words the enormous joy and fulfillment that provides for me personally. My continued participation with Camp Cavett has served only to deepen my determination to assist in securing consistent financial support for this tremendous organization.
The Cavett Kids Foundation has
served the chronically and terminally ill children population at the Oklahoma
Children’s Hospital for over 20 years. Our founder Danny Cavett learned
that advances in medicine lengthened and improved the lives of our chronically
ill children, but created another need. As they were living longer, someone
needed to teach them coping, connection, and character skills. It is
important for anyone and especially these kids to learn how to contribute back
to society, and that is just what Cavett Kids Foundation’s mission is: To
develop Character, Coping and Connection for kids battling life-threatening
illnesses. Research has shown that it is easier
for people to learn more if we are involved in something we like to do while we
are learning--- even adults. Cavett Kids uses different venues to do just
that, and we prefer to use the camp setting. Research has also shown that
to best deal with a chronic problem, the areas of coping, connection, and
character need to be present to have an optimum result. The various camp
activities we offer like fishing, talent shows and arts & crafts are not
necessarily unique, but the way we tie our teaching curriculum in with the
activities is what makes Cavett Kids unique here in Oklahoma. Because of the high cost of a
chronic illness, most families cannot afford to provide opportunities such as
these, so we provide them at no cost to the family or child. Furthermore,
we offer not just this one camp but also different events so that connection
can continue and encouragement is promoted to re-emphasize what has been taught
and learned. The Cavett Kids Foundation supports and operates six camps,
several annual events and two ongoing programs at OU Medical Center at no
cost to the patients and their families. All of the events are staffed
with doctors and nurses who volunteer to provide appropriate medical care for
these children. During our camps and events, we have over 1,000 volunteers
that touch the lives of over 12,000 kids each year. Over 200
kids attended Camp Cavett last year, with many being new campers, and the costs
are rising to almost $800/camper for this five-day camp. As a result, the
Cavett Kids Foundation needs your financial support in order to continue
offering our programs to these brave children. We depend entirely on corporate
and private sponsorships to make this program possible, and we are grateful for
the support of our community partners. The sustainability of this vitally
important statewide program will be enhanced through the funding and support of
caring individuals and companies and we will be able to continue offering
opportunities “Where the illness doesn’t define the Child!"
Manske was raised in Shattuck, Oklahoma and after high school graduated with his
B.S. and M.S. from Oklahoma State University. He taught Agricultural Education one year and then served an Extension
Educator, 4-H & Youth Development for Canadian County for 20 years. From
May, 2013 through early 2016, Tom served as the Director of Development for the
Oklahoma 4-H Foundation and then accepted the position of Cavett Kids
Foundation Executive Director in December of 2016. He states he truly enjoys working with kids
and people and making a difference for the next generation to succeed!
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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1000 N. Broadway Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73102