Why We’re Thankful

Posted on: Tuesday November 21, 2017

By: Christy Ragle

  As 2017 winds down, we’re overwhelmed with thankfulness for the many blessings that have come from the Victory Lane Camp community. Here is a list of 10 things we’re thankful for this year. Victory Families- Ten new Victory Families joined us this year, and each family has brought so much to our community. We’re also thankful for the way ALL of our Victory Families have been involved this year, from attending monthly events to participating in camp. Church/Organization Partners- Many churches and service organizations help with various “behind-the-scenes” aspects of Victory Lane Camp, and their support is very appreciated. For example, Sulphur Springs Church sponsored the Cast Part for this year’s VLC Talent Night. Ten churches and service groups provided meals at our July camp session. TIMs (Teens In Mission)- This year we had a record 24 teens participate in camp, including a youth group. Eight teens are participating in a year-long training and volunteer program. Sierra Anderson-Firle, who served as the intern coordinating the TIMs program, had this to say about the TIMs, “Both the Serving Families and Victory Families told me that the TIMs were a huge help.” Serving Families- TIMs weren’t the only group setting records. The number of Serving Families also set a record, with 29 families giving their time and energy to serve at a summer camp session. The Clemens family was one of the families who served this summer. “I loved being associated with a family, having a specific role, finding fellowship and building community,” expressed Kristina Clemens.  Pit Crew Members- Pit crews are the teams of people who help keep VLC running year- round. All pit crews worked to make 2017 a successful year of building the VLC community. We are thankful for the two new pit crew members who joined us this year: Audrea Thatcher and Nancy Wadman. Board of Directors- As Victory Lane Camp continues to grow, we rely heavily on the wonderful group of Christians leaders who have stepped up to help guide this organization. Their advice and active involvement is something we’re extremely thankful for. Prayer Partners- Victory Lane Camp was built on a foundation of prayer, and as we grow, we recognize the continued importance of prayer. We’re thankful for the faithful prayer partners who covered us in prayer to make this a fantastic year. Corporate Sponsors- The support of corporate sponsors makes it possible for us to operate and provide quality experiences for Victory Families. This year’s corporate sponsors are Bethany Cares Home Health Agency, Tri-State Forestry Services, Inc., Bruderer, Midwest Orthotic & Technology Center, Superior Van & Mobility, Henry County Community Foundation, ASI, Just Mulch Inc., Colour’z, Focal Point Coaching, Huffman Family Chiropractic, Big O Tires, Numotion, Cornerstone Campground, Verizon/TCC, Sproles Corp., Parkview Family Dentistry, Baumgartner Commercial, Don Criswell Construction, Bradford Woods, 321Go Kids’ Rehab, 321Go Family, and Senior Living at Forest Ridge. Donors- We’re also thankful for individual donors who do their part to support Victory Lane Camp. This year, we have the abundant blessing of an anonymous donor who is matching all new monthly donors… each month up to $1,500! Learn more about this opportunity at www.VictoryLaneCamp.org/give.php You! Every person who’s involved with Victory Lane Camp is someone who we are thankful for. Whether you just stumbled on this story today and are learning about VLC for the first time, or whether you were part of the founding group of pioneers who helped begin this organization, we’re thankful for YOU, and we look forward to a bright future ahead!

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VLC Stars Shine At Talent Night

Posted on: Friday November 10, 2017

By: Christy Ragle

Tears and laughter were in abundance at the recent Victory Lane Camp Talent Night. Children involved with Victory Lane Camp shared songs, comedy, a magic show, and a dance routine. For each act, the parents of the “star” gave a short introduction of what they had learned from their children. Throughout the evening, other members of the Victory Lane Camp community shared skits and stories. Victory Lane Camp Founder Brett Fischer and camp song leader Mike Brown served as emcees for the event. The evening began with AJ Wise singing a duet with his dad, Jimmy. Before the song, AJ’s mom, Tabatha, talked about AJ’s life as he deals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. “As life has gotten tougher, he’s the one encouraging us,” she expressed. Greg and Christine Carey were next, introducing their son Alex, who has autism. Greg and Christine talked about how being involved with Victory Lane Camp helped them appreciate every aspect of Alex. Alex shared a comedy routine, and included his dad and some of his friends from Victory Lane Camp in his act. Rebecca Johnson, along with her sister Leah, followed with a dance routine set to the Katy Perry song “Roar.” The sisters’ parents, Kaj and Cyndi Johnson provided a touching story about living with Rebecca’s multiple medical complications. “When I look at her, she’s not broken,” noted Cyndi. “I love and accept her for the little girl she is.” Amy Smith introduced her son Joe Hewitt by sharing about his determination. Amy wasn’t sure if Joe would be able to walk when he was born with some developmental challenges. He’s gone on to do more than walk, he participated on his school’s cross country team this year. “He puts 100 percent into everything he does. He’s an inspiration to us.” Amy said. Joe presented a magic show, complete with disappearing crayons and a magically appearing flower. The next act featured Caden Upchurch, who demonstrated different types of “dabbing” in a comical way. His parents, David and Dara Upchurch talked about Caden’s strength in dealing with his disability. “Nothing is in his way,” David stated. At this point in the program, Brett Fischer invited Shane Osting, athletic director at New Castle High School, to the stage along with athletes Nicolas Grieser and James Thompson. Brett awarded the Victory Award to the New Castle High School Athletic Department for embracing people with disabilities through the recent formation of the unified track team and other inclusive activities. The program concluded with Crystal Ingram introducing her daughter Ruby. “From day one of her diagnosis, I’ve learned not to put limits on her,” Crystal shared. “She taught me never to give up.” Ruby then took the stage and invited all the kids in the audience to “come on up!” The kids served as her backup singers as they recreated a campfire scene and Ruby sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Following the program, members of the cast hosted a party, sponsored by Sulphur Springs Christian Church and met audience members. Local Girl Scout Troup 420 served ice cream to those in attendance. The Talent Night served as a fundraising event for Victory Lane Camp. A generous donor is offering a matching monthly donation for all new monthly donations. A big thank you to all the new monthly donors who emerged at the event. There is still a need for more monthly donors. Find out more at www.VictoryLaneCamp.org/give.php

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New Pit Crew Members Find Ways to Serve VLC Families

Posted on: Thursday October 26, 2017

By: Amber Estelle

  Victory Lane Camp relies heavily on the dedication of several teams of volunteers, called Pit Crews. As VLC expands, the need for new Pit Crew members increases. Audrea Thatcher and Nancy Wadman are part of VLC Pit Crews. Let’s hear their stories: Audrea’s Story- As the mother of a child with special needs, Audrea Thatcher understands the need for support and outreach. “When I was raising my daughter, I just didn’t feel like there was enough support out there for people. I just would like to make a connection with the families of kids with special needs.” Audrea is retired from the State Police but keeps busy doing art classes at nursing homes and substitute teaching in schools. Her high-functioning daughter, Mary, is grown and working in her adult life. Now Audrea is seeking ways to get involved and give to others who are experiencing what she did while raising Mary. “It had to be a God thing. I just could not get the families with special needs off of my mind,” shared Audrea. She brought her concern for outreach to her minister and his wife. Having been involved with camp before, the Buskirks pointed Audrea in the direction of Victory Lane Camp. Audrea jumped right in and joined the Event Planning Pit Crew. She’s been to one meeting and one event, and she’s working on finishing her training. She wants to continue to see activities for kids with special needs take place. “I was really impressed with the tethered balloon rides. There are so many activities that ‘normal people’ do that people assume kids with disabilities can’t do. I’d like to see more activities like that,” expressed Audrea. “It’s easy to overlook the fact that kids who have special needs are just like everyone else. I like to see events that might normally be out of their comfort zones, but they would enjoy doing.” Nancy’s Story-  Nancy Wadman spent 39 years teaching sixth grade. She has since retired, but enjoys working with kids and volunteering. Nancy’s connection with Victory Lane Camp comes through knowing Brett and Paige Fischer. Nancy also helped her church serve meals at camp. “I have heard Brett talk, and I’m really taken with the philosophy of serving the whole family and not just the child,” Nancy explained. “It takes the whole family, and you really have to work with all of them to make life happy for the child.” For now, Nancy prefers the idea of staying behind the scenes on the Finance Pit Crew. “I’m trying to help in the best way I can. That’s being on the Finance Pit Crew right now,” she shared. But she hopes to continue to see growth. Nancy expressed, “I would like to see more people in the community become active and involved. There’s still lots of room for local people to get involved and realize how important it is. We’re working hard on extending throughout the state and hopefully someday out of state. It certainly has a future of growing.” Victory Lane Camp is made up of many moving parts with several options for places to plug in. If you are looking for a way to become involved in VLC, consider joining a Pit Crew and contact Tiffanny at 765-591-4191 for more information.

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Talent Night Features Victory Lane Camp Kids

Posted on: Tuesday October 10, 2017

By: Amber Estelle

Watch the stars of Victory Lane Camp shine on stage as Victory Lane Camp hosts a fundraising event for the whole family to enjoy on Saturday, November 4, at 7 pm. The night will be filled with talent acts from our very own Victory Kids and will be at the First Baptist Family Life Center (709 S. Memorial Drive, New Castle, IN). Everyone is invited to our cast party to follow. Take your opportunity to congratulate the stars and enjoy some ice cream with them. Admission is free, and limited festival seating is available. Spots can be reserved at www.victorylanecamp.org/stars.php or by calling Tiffanny at 765-591-4191 Featured acts include: Joe Hewitt- Joe is the son of Ryan Hewitt and Amy Smith. Joe attended his first camp session at Cornerstone Campground in 2014. He loves wowing people with magic, and will share a magic act during the VLC Talent Night. Rebecca Johnson- Rebecca is the daughter Kaj and Cyndi Johnson and the family attended camp this past summer. Rebecca has been practicing her hula hoop routine and will share her performance on November 4. AJ Wise is a long-time active member of the VLC community, attending camp for the first time in 2015. AJ and his parents Jimmy and Taby Wise attended the camp session at Bradford Woods this summer, where they each went on the zip line. AJ will sing with his dad during his performance at the Talent Night. Ruby Ingram will also present a song performance. Ruby and her mom Crystal Ingram enjoyed camp at Cornerstone Campground this summer, along with several other VLC Community events. Caden Upchurch is one of the “original Victory Kids,” and is known throughout the community for his smile and sense of humor. He’ll be sharing a comedy act at Talent Night. Caden is the son of David and Dara Upchurch. Alex Carey will present his own brand of comedy. Alex and his parents Greg and Christine attend most all VLC community events and have attended two camp sessions. Throughout the evening, the audience will also hear from other members of the Victory Lane Camp community about the growth of the organization. Victory Lane Camp is centered around families who have children with disabilities, and is more than a camp. Connections between people from all backgrounds and abilities continue throughout the year with planned events and impromptu gatherings. “We want to share how lives are being changed and how our community is growing,” noted Brett Fischer, VLC Founder. “This is a great opportunity to get to know some of the families in our VLC community and learn how to support the future growth of VLC with time and financial resources.” Everyone is invited to the cast party following the program. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the performers and their families. Don’t miss a chance to see the stars of VLC! Reserve your seat now at www.VictoryLaneCamp.org/stars.php.

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