The Blind Side actor Quinton Aaron will be the keynote speaker for Royal Family Kids Camp Tampa Bay’s Royal Banquet: Giving Hope to Foster Kids on Thursday, April 5, at The Regent in Riverview.
The banquet is the main fundraiser for Royal Family Kids Camp Tampa Bay. The nonprofit organization’s goal in 2018 is to provide a free week of camp in July for more than 60 kids who come from foster care, group homes and kinship care. The cost to run the overnight camp for a week is $50,000.
During this life-changing week children ages 6 to 12 who have experienced abuse, neglect and abandonment are given a safe and loving environment with a ratio of one adult to one child. The camp is provided free of charge to the kids and staffed 100 percent by volunteers.
Last year, 47 kids attended the camp staffed by 60 volunteers. The campers were treated like royalty throughout the week, starting with a luxury coach bus ride to camp. The children were treated each night to a special event, including a carnival, birthday bash, bonfire and petting zoo, and talent show.
“It’s a time where [the kids] are shown God’s unconditional love in a way that they’ve probably never experienced before,” Camp Director Scott Mulhollen said. “We treat them like royalty. They’re the kings and the queens of the camp so we give them the best week of their lives.”
Banquet keynote speaker Quinton Aaron is best known for playing Michael Oher, aka ‘Big Mike,’ in the award-winning movie The Blind Side. The film’s story gives hope and encouragement to kids who have experienced neglect and abandonment.
Aaron speaks all over the country to at-risk kids, bringing awareness and solutions to the issues of bullying. The Tampa-based Quinton Aaron Foundation’s mission is to provide hope, encouragement, confidence and resources to children on the brink of suicide or battling the damaging effects on self-esteem and confidence caused by the actions or words of others.
Several banquet sponsorship levels are available, ranging from $250 to $3,000. Event sponsors include Thrivent Financial, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Steel, Highland Packaging Solutions and United Hoist Equipment.
Donations for the event’s silent auction are needed. Contact Cindy Leon at 787-1211.
The cost to attend the banquet, which will begin at 6:30 p.m., is $30 per person and $210 for a table of eight. Register online or get more information at RFKCTB.com/events. If you are interested in serving as a camp volunteer or counselor, go online to RFKCTB.com/volunteer for more information.