Festival helps kick off camp for sick kids

Every year, the Washington Wines Festival lures wine enthusiasts from all over Puget Sound to raise funds benefiting various state organizations.

Every year, the Washington Wines Festival lures wine enthusiasts from all over Puget Sound to raise funds benefiting various state organizations.

This year, the festival packed its bags and went to camp, hosting the lavish event at Carnation Farm. On June 27, the 818 acres of farmland officially became the new home to Camp Korey, a program to help children with serious medical conditions.

Camp Korey will welcome its first group of 32 campers from the Cranial Facial Clinic at Children’s Hospital on July 21.

This year, the 17th annual Washington Wines Festival was expanded to a two-day event, with proceeds benefiting the camp. The festival included wine tasting, a live auction, Winemaker Dinners with featured chefs, recreational activities and live performances by Lisa Loeb, Vince Gill and Amy Grant. Tickets for the wine weekend cost $2,500 per person, the cost equivalent to covering a week of camp for a child.

The weekend was a family affair, with brothers Tim and Jim Rose working to create a memorable one-of-a-kind event that allowed people to financially support the camp while having a fun, relaxing weekend.

Jim Rose has played a part in the Washington Wine Festivals for the past 17 years and was chosen as the auction chairman for this year’s festival. Jim also serves on the board of directors for Camp Korey, founded by his brother Tim. Seventy percent of the proceeds from the two-day festival will benefit the camp.

The camp was founded by Costco executive Tim Rose in memory of his son, Korey, who died of bone cancer in 2004 at the age of 18. Inspired by his son’s life, Tim wanted to create a place for chronically ill children that would allow them to escape the doctor appointments and hospital beds and to spend time with other kids dealing with the same challenges. After viewing a video from Newman’s Own Inc. featuring Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall camps for chronically ill children, he began raising funds and searching for the ideal location for the camp.

He began working on a piece of property in Redmond that occupied roughly 120 acres of land. The property consisted of raw forest land and, according to Tim, the project would have taken seven years and a lot of money to build a camp from scratch.

Then, about two years ago in June, he brought a group of his employees to Carnation Farm for a company weekend and right away saw the value in the land that went beyond a price tag. Although the land was not for sale, he flew to Burbank, Calif., and approached the president of Nestle with his vision of Camp Korey. Nestle had owned the land since 1984 and primarily used it as the company’s corporate training center. With some negotiation, Tim and Jim Hebert, co-founders of Camp Korey, closed the deal to buy the land for $14.5 million on June 27.

Camp Korey is funded through special events as well as individual and corporate donations and is working with the Association of Hole in Wall Camps to meet the necessary requirements to become the 11th Hole in the Wall Camp in the world.

Camp Korey will serve children six to 16 years old, living with serious and life-altering conditions including juvenile arthritis, cancer, epilepsy, sickle cell anemia and numerous other conditions. The young campers and their families will have the opportunity to attend the camp for year-round programs, free of charge.

“This is a place where for an entire week, kids can just be kids and they can forget about their medical problems and just have fun,” Camp Korey’s Executive Director, Tom Parker explained.

Camp Korey will be a medically supported facility that will offer fun and educational programs for over 20,000 Pacific Northwest children and their families. The farm-themed camp will offer 10 week-long intensive camps during the summer months with activities such as horseback riding, a climbing wall, arts and crafts, cooking, swimming and more. The kids will learn about farming, agriculture, animals and fishing. Additional programs will run year-round.

“I think the reason why every time we come out here there are blue skies and sun shining is because Korey is smiling down on this place,” said Tim about his son. “He loved the outdoors activities and having fun. He would be right in the middle of this. He would just love it.”

Lindsay Larin can be reached at llarin@reporternewspapers.com or at 425-453-4602.

Learn more

For more information on Camp Korey visit www.campkorey.org.