A day to remember for Cupit and Camp Lloyd fans

top-cupitOn the morning Prof. Illene Cupit (at center) was announced as the 2014 recipient of the Founders Award for Excellence in Community Outreach, there was double reason to celebrate.

The award brought not only more well-deserved recognition for Cupit’s important and effective Camp Lloyd venture, but a visit from a pair of community partners with news of an additional donation to help secure the Camp’s future in working with children experiencing the loss of a loved one.

Camp Lloyd fans Jenny Kuhn-Schrickel (at left) and Sue Johnson (right) had been tipped off in advance that Cupit would be receiving the prestigious community involvement award, primarily for her tireless efforts with the camp. They rearranged their schedules to surreptitiously join the Phoenix Room audience of more than 500 for the annual UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff Convocation opening the school year, where the awards are announced.

“I had no idea they were here until after the ceremony,” a smiling Cupit said afterward. “I didn’t see them at all.”

Kuhn-Schrickel and Johnson had a good view of their friend’s surprised, almost overwhelmed reaction when her name was called — the winner’s identities are a closely guarded secret — and they joined in the crowd’s loud ovation and cheering as Cupid walked on stage to accept the honor.

After all the hugs and congratulations, the three compared notes on the latest development involving Camp Lloyd. Johnson shared word that an additional $1,000 had been donated this week to reach the goal of $25,000 to fully endow future camps, in memory of her late husband, Charlie.

Charlie Johnson, a well-liked employees of nearly 15 years with Imperial Supplies, died in 2013 at the age of 44 after a battle with cancer. Charlie and Sue’s son participated in the week-long Camp Lloyd both summers since, and enjoyed his experience.

In appreciation, Sue Johnson, a senior vice president with Associated Bank, worked with Kuhn-Schrickel of Imperial to see about dedicating to Camp Lloyd the $24,000 proceeds of a recent fundraiser in Charlie’s honor. The third annual “Telawhopper Classic” Charity Golf Outing in Memory of Charlie Johnson took place with a full day of golfing at the Woods Golf Club of Green Bay on Aug. 16. The annual outing represents the inspiration of Imperial colleagues who wanted to honor Johnson by helping others. Corporate sponsors included The Grainger Foundation, Imperial Supplies and Associated Bank.

The cumulative donation of $25,000, Cupit says, “reaches our target for endowing the camp, and ensuring that Camp Lloyd will be serving grieving children in our community for many years to come. We are exceptionally grateful.”

Cupit, a professor of psychology in UW-Green Bay’s Human Development academic unit, organized the first Camp Lloyd in 2006 and named it for a family member who had to deal with the death of his father at a very young age. Cupit envisioned the experience as a typical, fun summer camp, but one that provides a place for participating children to discover that there are other kids like them, and to learn that grieving is natural. The UW-Green Bay students who staff the camp — undergrads and advanced students completing field work in counseling or therapy — gain professional-level experience in the process.