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Big shoes to fill when Clancy retires from SCAMP program

Donna Clancy (click for larger version)
March 05, 2014 - SCAMP, a camp for kids with developmental disabilities, will have to find someone to fill when Donna Clancy's retires Aug. 18.

Her choice for a perfect replacement? Someone who cares about SCAMP, someone passionate and caring, hardworking and organized. They need also be prepared for hard work and a deep commitment to the job.

"Also, someone with a huge family because you need their help a lot when all of the events are going on," she chuckled. "With a big family like mine, anytime I need 15 people to show up, I can call my family."

"It's an honor to have the job," she insisted.

Perhaps that is the reason Clancy has been so successful planning events and raising money.

Throughout the year, she hosts many events and fundraisers and events to help fund SCAMP.

Clancy said the SCAMP Director job is what you make it, and the more successful events you hold during the year the more kids you can help.

"I chose to make it busy," she said.

SCAMP is also a big part of the Clarkston community - and most all the money raised in Clarkston stays in Clarkston.

"It all goes back into the community," she said. "SCAMP supports local businesses We always reinvest in the community."

How does SCAMP do that? A few ways include visiting Dairy Queen, ordering pizza from Rudy's Market, visiting the Village Bake Shop or spending money at Independence Oaks.

Clancy added it is the caring staff, mostly Clarkston residents, who truly make the days special.

There is also a lot she will miss about SCAMP.

"I will miss the feeling I am doing something good every day for people who sometimes can't do a lot for themselves."

She added, if you just spend an hour with a SCAMPer parent you know what their lives are like and being able to take your child to a fun and safe place gives them a little respite and time to enjoy a bit of summer.

Clancy said every small town should have SCAMP.

"It wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for all the businesses, every school, teacher, family and everyone who supports SCAMP."

She added SCAMPers look forward to coming to SCAMP all year.

"It's really important to the kids," she said. "They are just so excited to be there."

At the end of the five-week camp, Clancy said it's hard to tell who is sadder, the staff or the kids.

She says she has had a good time helping. Before she started the previous SCAMP director wanted to retire and told Clancy the only way she would retire is if she agreed to take the job.

Clancy also had experience from many years organizing events and parties and big parades in Detroit.

"I would help plan and then make things happen," she said.

Familiar with SCAMP from her time serving on the board, Clancy agreed to her friends request.

She added although the SCAMP Board of Directors searched for candidates- she wouldn't let anyone else get the job. "I didn't let them take anyone but me," she said.

Clancy first became familiar with SCAMP because a friend of her son was effected with a disability. She felt she was able to get through to him. "I also realized how much SCAMP meant to them, and I thought it was just wonderful."

Clancy said she knew what a reprieve it must be for parents during SCAMP Camp, held five weeks in the summer.

"That's when I started volunteering," she smiled.

Though she will retire, Clancy said she'll still be around working for a good cause.

"I have to use my god given talents to do something good," she added.

But she will spend time enjoying being a grandma to her eight grandchildren.

"We have seven boys and one princess. I just want to get to know them and be part of their lives."

She is also looking forward to spending time with her husband, Jerry, and taking a trip planned for years.

Staff writer covering Independence Township and Clarkston area.
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