Camp Courage, Midwest Youth Services Receive Proceeds from West Central IL All Star Basketball Classic

By Benjamin Cox on April 25, 2024 at 3:48pm

Two Jacksonville area non-profits received checks from the proceeds of the Country Financial West Central Illinois All Star Basketball Classic.

The 44th annual meeting of the top players in the area was held in March at the JHS Bowl.

The recipients of this year’s proceeds of $1,500 each were Camp Courage and Midwest Youth Services.

John Hunter of Camp Courage says that for the past 49 years the camp has provided about three dozen youth with disabilities a week long outdoor camp full of activities they may otherwise not get to experience: “We try to cap the camp at 35. That’s the maximum we can deal with due to the counselor and bed situation. Lately, after Covid, our numbers have been down a little bit. We were down to about 25-27. [The money] makes a world of difference in order for us to keep going. Obviously, it costs more money each year in order to sponsor a kid. We don’t charge our campers very much. We charge $35 and then we cover the rest.”

Ann Baker, Executive Director of Midwest Youth Services says the money is being put towards a bigger goal to serve more at-risk youth in their service territory: “Every little bit helps. It truly does. We are working on completing a building expansion. We serve over 500 kids a year, and we have one counseling room. This will make very good head way in the efforts that we have been working really hard on for that expansion. Two of our major funding sources due requiring matching funds, and it’s a lot to come up with. The State of Illinois has been very gracious to increase our funds over the years, but that also means increased matching funds, and that’s cash out of your pocket that you have to have to be able to secure the programs.”

The $1,500 check to each organization represents the most money given by the All Star Game in the last four years.