Hearst Employees Spend Day Volunteering at Horizon Day Camp

WBAL-TV and Hearst employees converged on camp Monday to lend a helping hand.

Members of the Baltimore media organizations volunteered at the Horizon Day Camp in Baltimore, which started in 2016 to serve children with cancer and their siblings through day camps, year-round programs and recreational activities in hospitals — all for free.

The Sunrise Association runs the camp and has multiple locations across the East Coast.

Childhood cancer can take away the joys in life, but this camp is doing its best to restore some of it in Baltimore.

“What we do is just help return childhood, which in some cases, has been taken away from these kids,” said Mark McElrath, the Baltimore camp’s executive director.

McElrath said volunteers make a difference in helping the children.

“Every day is about just helping the kids develop their friendships, developing interpersonal skills, confidence and having a whole lot of fun, forgetting about some of the other challenges that they are experiencing,” McElrath said.

Campers get to enjoy snacks, games and other fun opportunities without their family spending a dime.

“We have pizza two times a week, and every morning, we have a roll call to see who wins the pizza,” said Crue, a camper.

Children can attend Horizon as often as they want thanks to camp volunteers.

“I think we both loved camp as a kid, and we both wanted to be camper for the day and give back as well,” said WBAL-TV 11 News anchor Deborah Weiner, who was among the WBAL-TV staff volunteering.

“If you can join up volunteering and going to camp, it’s a win-win,” said WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Lowell Melser, who was among the WBAL-TV staff volunteering.

Volunteers interact with the children, visit those who can’t leave the hospital or engage in HorizonWALKS to bring awareness to the association.

“Whether it’s donors, volunteers, the corporate community, the civic community, friends like WBAL_TV 11 helping share our story, everyone wants the best for the kids, and that’s what we provide,” McElrath said.

Kai Reed was also among WBAL-TV’s group of volunteers.