Niagara University is one of three Vincentian universities in the United States, which means that its teaching is based on the beliefs of St. Vincent de Paul, whose main goal was to give back to those who are less fortunate.
One club on campus that is succeeding in following this mission is NU’s Camp Courage Crew. Founded by juniors Audrey Dunn and Emily DiMaria this club was introduced to the campus in the spring of 2018. Its main goal is to help raise both money and awareness for Camp Good Days.
Camp Good Days is a camp that was created for children who have had a part of their life affected by cancer. With a purpose to provide a safe place for children, they can feel like “normal kids” and hang out with others who share similar struggles.
Dunn, who serves as club president, said that she has firsthand experience regarding the effects of cancer on a family at a young age. This experience has helped her discover her passion to work with people suffering from cancer. Prior to starting this club, she has been involved with Camp Good Days directly, and uses her experience to help develop and build this popular organization on campus.
DiMaria, the current vice president, says that her passion for the cause began after volunteering at one of Camp Good Days’ events last year. This passion, along with the motivation of other students, contributed to the formation of Camp Courage Crew.
The group’s signature event to date, the Camp Courage Dance Marathon, took place on Oct. 19, 2018, in Niagara’s Kiernan Recreation Center from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.
All Niagara University students were invited to attend, along with the public community. Multiple clubs on campus volunteered to help raise money through different stations that they created. The night was full of dancing, conversations and fun competitive games. Both Dunn and DiMaria plan on holding this event annually at Niagara, not only as a way to raise money for Camp Good Days, but to also bring the university and community together for this special cause.