Hopkins Foundation donates $25,000 to Great Plains United Methodist camps


Children in need will have the opportunity to enjoy Christmas camp thanks to a generous donation by the Hopkins Foundation to the Great Plains United Methodist Camps. The Hopkins Foundation presented a check for $25,000 to the camps on Monday afternoon at Grace United Methodist Church in Emporia, Kansas.

Tom Krueger, Hopkins Foundation attorney and board member explained the meaning behind the donation. A donation he believes E.L. & Z. Irene Hopkins would be pleased with.

“Bud and Irene went to church here (Grace United Methodist),” Krueger said. “There was a request made by these camps that wanted to help children in need. These are all Methodist church camps. So this $25,000 that we are giving is in memory of Bud and Irene Hopkins as a Christmas present to fund those camps for Christmas holidays.”

The Great Plains United Methodist Camps has five sites in Kansas and Nebraska. The camps are as follows.

Camp Chippewa staff members were at the check presentation on Monday. James Ricker, director of Camp Chippewa and Megan Bastemeyer, program coordinator are already busy planning the Christmas camp activities at Camp Chippewa, which begin on Dec. 30 and will last for one week.

“We will be doing archery, horse activities, playing games, crafting,” Bastemeyer said. “If we have snow, we will be sledding. We are also having a New Year’s Eve party.”

The Christmas Camp, geared towards third-to fifth-grade students will be the first Christmas camp activity for Camp Chippewa. The camp provides 640 acres of outdoor fun for the children to enjoy. Something Bishop Scott Jones, of the Great Plains United Methodist Conference says will provide the children with a much needed break.

“Kids nowadays need a break from technology,” Jones said. “They need to re-engage with outdoors.”

Michelle Hopkins Molinaro, vice-president of the Hopkins Foundation and granddaughter of Bud and Irene Hopkins presented the check on Monday. She says that camps are important to children and the the Hopkins Foundation is pleased to support the camps as they help provide Christmas camps for children.

“It (camp) was a staple for me when I was younger,” said Hopkins Molinaro. “I still remember it to this day. I just think camp is so fun.”

Story by Jessie Wagoner, photos by Jakub Stepanovic for the Emporia Gazette

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