Stephanie Needs Boost After Relative's Death

Losing her grandmother was a huge loss for 11-year-old Stephanie. With an alcoholic father and a mom with a drug problem, Stephanie needed encouragement and support--and her grandmother had provided it.

When she died of cancer last year, the impact on the family was powerful. Stephanie's mom, who is now off drugs, took disability leave from her job at a bank. She and Stephanie are supported by disability payments.

Stephanie's grades dropped sharply after her grandmother died, but they're improving steadily, as her best friend and her mom provide her with love and comfort.

A trip to summer camp, her mother says, will help her bounce back.

Through the Camp Fire Boys & Girls Club of Foothills, Stephanie will spend a week at Camp Wasewagan in the San Bernardino Mountains this year. The club has been sending children like Stephanie to camp for decades.

Camp Fire provides inner-city children with opportunities for developing self-esteem, living skills and experiences in the natural environment and making new friends among campers and counselors.

This year the Los Angeles Times Summer Camp Program will donate $18,000 to Camp Fire to help send children to camp.

Each year since 1954, readers and employees of the Los Angeles Times have sent thousands of needy children to camp through The Times Summer Camp Program.

This year, the McCormick Tribune Foundation will match the first $1.2 million raised at 50 cents on the dollar.

It costs an average of $150 for a child to spend a week at summer camp. Checks should be sent to: L.A. Times Summer Camp Campaign, File No. 53401, Los Angeles, CA 90074-3401. Credit card payments may also be made by calling (213) 237-5771. Please do not send cash. All donations are tax-deductible.

It is the policy of the Los Angeles Times and the camp program to maintain and promote a culture of nondiscrimination and inclusiveness.

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