Children with epilepsy in Florida are packing their bags for summer camp fun thanks to the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida's recent victory in the Chase Community Giving Big Idea contest. The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida (EFOF) won a $45,000 prize that will help send more than a hundred Florida children for a week of laughter and friendship on the 232 acres of tall pines, majestic oaks and nature trails at Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis, Florida.
"We are grateful to the Chase Community Giving program for their generous donation to children with epilepsy in Florida, and to Team Epilepsy for helping us to achieve this win," said Karen Basha Egozi, chief executive officer of the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida. Camp is often the first time children with seizure disorders are on their own, giving them the opportunity to build independence. Playing and interacting with other kids who also have seizure disorders reduces the feelings of fear and often isolation. "At camp Boggy Creek, kids with epilepsy get to experience the joy of being just kids, and just like everyone else," adds Ms. Basha Egozi. "These children have the opportunity to partake in activities that are often off-limits, but here they can build confidence in trying new things in an environment specifically designed for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses."
Thanks to the prize monies earmarked to EFOF from the Chase Community Giving contest in which thousands of charities competed for votes on Facebook, a life-changing summer experience will be available to more than 110 children who live with seizure disorders. Winning this prize took much hard work. First EFOF had to develop a program plan and promote it on Facebook. Competing against thousands of charities, 'fans' on Facebook picked 100 finalists to compete for the grand prize of $500,000. After winning a spot among the top 100 charities, EFOF reached out to Team Epilepsy, a Facebook community that connects people living with epilepsy to clinical trials. With only days to achieve results, Team Epilepsy rallied thousands of supporters to spread the word and gather votes for EFOF's children's program on Facebook. These fan votes helped EFOF win the prize money necessary to provide children with seizure disorders with an unforgettable summer experience.
"We could not have won this generous prize without the help of Team Epilepsy and our many supporters from Florida, across the U.S. and around the globe. It was gratifying to see the epilepsy community come together and make such a dramatic impact," said Karen Basha Egozi. Social media is crucial to helping parents and children in the epilepsy community connect with each other and gather information on the latest antiepileptic therapies. "We applaud Chase Community Giving for its innovative use of social media to direct its charitable giving and improve the lives of those living with seizure disorders."
About The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida -The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida (EFOF) leads the fight to stop seizures, find a cure and overcome challenges created by epilepsy. EFOF is the principal agency for epilepsy programs and services sponsored by the State of Florida, servicing the estimated 360,000 Floridians who suffer from the condition. EFOF serves as the lead advocate for the rights and needs of people with epilepsy and seizure disorders at the local, county and state level. EFOF provides many valuable services to individuals and their families, regardless of their financial situation. It is the sole licensee in the state of the National Epilepsy Foundation®, which has led the fight against epilepsy since 1968. More than 375,000 Floridians are stricken with epilepsy and seizure disorders, and about 42,000 people die each year nationally due to seizures and related causes. For more information on the EFOF and its services, call 877-553-7453 or visit www.EpilepsyFLA.org.
About Team Epilepsy -Team Epilepsy is a Facebook community created in 2010 to specifically inform people about a clinical trial enrolling people living with partial seizures about the opportunity to screen and participate in a clinical trial for an add-on antiepileptic medication. Team Epilepsy comprises of doctors, nurses and medical specialists across the U.S. and internationally in studying the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of an investigational add-on antiepileptic medication. Team Epilepsy has received nationwide recognition for bringing this clinical trial opportunity to people taking medicine for the partial onset seizures and yet who still experience 'break through' seizures. Team Epilepsy is managed by MediciGlobal, a firm dedicated to bringing clinical trials to patients and advancing the development of new medicines. For more information about Team Epilepsy, or to pre-screen for the clinical trial currently enrolling, visit www.TeamEpilepsy.com.
About Camp Boggy Creek -Camp Boggy Creek is a permanent, year-round facility where children, ages 7-16, with chronic or life-threatening illnesses can come at no charge to them or their families. The Mission of Camp Boggy Creek is to enrich the lives of children who have chronic or life threatening illnesses by creating camping experiences that are memorable, exciting, fun, empowering, physically safe and medically sound. At camp, children can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, arts and crafts, horseback riding, theater, archery, singing, and dancing in specifically equipped facilities. Camp Boggy Creek is a proud member of The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps. To learn more visit www.boggycreek.org.
About Chase Community Giving -Chase Community Giving is a program inspiring a new way of corporate philanthropy by encouraging people to vote to help determine which nonprofits will receive donations from JP Morgan Chase's philanthropic funds. The 2011 'Big Idea' program is providing over $5 million in grants to charities nationwide. Charitable support areas include arts and culture; education and youth development; environment; animal welfare; health and social services; community development; medical research and awareness; recreation and sports; and international development. JPMorgan Chase donates a total of more than $100 million annually to more than 3,000 non-profit organizations in local communities, nationally and abroad.