Pay It 4ward: Volunteers of ‘Camp Enchantment’ honored with $400

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A local nonprofit is ensuring cancer– which takes so much already– does not also rob children of making new friends and camp memories. 

Now, KOB 4 helped a woman with a special connection to a summer program Pay It 4ward.

“They put on a camp every year, for these kids that are on cancer treatments, or treatments for really serious diseases,” said Cathy Sanchez, Pay It 4ward nominator. 

Since 1986, Camp Enchantment has grown to welcome more than 200 kids, ages seven to 17, for a full week each summer.

“Parents and the families, you know, they don’t want to leave their kid for a week, you know? There’s the medicine, they’re worried about them, they’re still on treatment, some of them. So when they get back, they’ve had a blast, you know, they’ve had a great time, and they wish it was longer,” said Sanchez. 

Sanchez, whose grandson goes to camp every year, says the local nonprofit allows children who are sick to just be children. 

“It’s just a joy for him, it’s a joy for me, you know, just makes life a little bit better for him,” Sanchez said.  “It’s a full week of activities and fun and art, and they meet new kids, it’s a chance for them to get away and not worry about doctor’s appointments, medicine, things like that.”

At no cost to the families, but it is a lot for camp coordinators, that’s why Sanchez called us to help Pay It 4ward with $400. 

Camp representatives were already waiting for someone from the city to give an official proclamation for Camp Enchantment Day – they didn’t expect us to show up.

“We really appreciate everything you do for the kids. I do. Every time we go to the camp, you know, the kids are kind of hesitant and shy and new. But then they come back and they say, ‘God, why didn’t this last longer?’” said Sanchez. 

“It’s the one week a year where they can just be kids,” said Erin Muffoletto, board member of Camp Enchantment. “The one week, they don’t get treated any different. They’re all equal.”

Mayor Tim Keller also proclaimed Sept. 22 as “Camp Enchantment New Mexico Day.” An honor, well-deserved.

“We go to the hospital to get rid of cancer, we go to camp to heal.”