SEGUIN ISLAND, Maine – A group of servicemen and servicewomen, including Navy SEALs, recently battled ocean waves, a sixty-mile bike ride and a 10K run as part of Camp Sunshine’s 2018 Stone Coast Challenge.
The challenge, along with the Landing Party and Meet the SEALs Gala, raised more than $50,000 to allow military families with children with life-threatening illnesses to attend Camp Sunshine.
“All things being equal, military families inherently bear a larger burden than civilian families,” said event founder, Mike W. “So when a child of a military family is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness it has a comparatively acute impact and we’re trying to provide those families with some relief.”
The Stone Coast Challenge is designed to resemble the ups and downs that families with children with life-threatening illnesses face every day. The challenge began with a three-mile, open-ocean swim from Seguin Island to Popham Beach, a 60-mile bike ride from Popham Beach to Crescent Beach, and finished with a 10k run in Cape Elizabeth. The general public gathered for the subsequent Landing Party at Fort Williams Park to see the participants finish the triathlon. That evening’s Meet the SEALs Gala was a formal reception with the participating SEALs and special dignitaries at Ocean Gateway in Portland.
Camp Sunshine is a free-of-charge, award-winning retreat on the shores of Sebago Lake in Casco, Maine that provides retreats year-round for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. At Camp, attending families join other families on similar journeys and experience the benefits of empathy and encouragement, rest and recovery, and hope and inspiration.
Since 2014, Navy SEALs and other servicemen have been competing in physically daunting tasks for Camp Sunshine. The SEALs have participated in a 13-mile swim across Sebago Lake (2014), a reverse triathlon that begin at the top of Mt. Washington (2015), a combination triathlon around Sebago Lake (2016), a 10-mile open ocean swim around California’s Coronado Island (2017), and most recently a 26.2 mile paddle around Coronado Island (2018).
For more information about the event or to make a donation, please visit sealsforsunshine.org.
About Camp Sunshine
Founded in 1984, Camp Sunshine provides retreats combining respite, recreation and support, while enabling hope and promoting joy, for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families through the various stages of a child’s illness.
Camp Sunshine’s program is offered year-round and has distinction of having been designed to serve the entire family in a retreat model. The program is free of charge to families and includes on-site medical and psychosocial support. Bereavement sessions are also offered for families who have experienced the death of a child from a supported illness. For more information, visit www.campsunshine.org.