North Star Reach, the local medical specialty camp for children with serious illnesses and their families, is hosting its annual signature fundraiser, Under the North Star. The event will take place at its 105-acre campus overlooking Patterson Lake in Pinckney on Friday, Sept. 30.
The special evening will celebrate North Star Reach’s recent successful COVID-safe residential summer season.
This summer, the camp hosted three overnight sessions in June and July, serving children aged 7-15 with complex medical needs, including congenital heart disorders, epilepsy, sickle cell disease, and campers who have received a solid organ transplant.
The sessions marked the return of in-person camps after programs were paused in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
Under the North Star was originally scheduled for last spring but canceled due to severe weather.
The event is aimed at raising awareness and vital funds to sustain North Star Reach’s no-cost, year-round programs, including summer overnight camps, family weekend retreats, hospital outreach, care conferences, virtual camper meetups, and caregiver support groups.
The evening will feature a strolling dinner, live auction, outdoor concert by the popular Detroit band FiftyAmpFuse, and the premiere of “The Lasting Impacts of Camp,” highlighting the importance and positive impact of North Star Reach’s camps and programs for children with serious illnesses and their families.
Guests will also be invited to enjoy unique camp-style experiences, such as pontoon boat rides (with opportunities to fish), the chance to build a custom charcuterie board, create craft cocktails, and participate in yoga under the stars.
On a short “Mission Walk,” guests can see and hear how North Star Reach has transformed lives by empowering campers with confidence, skills, and lasting connections.
The walk will include a tour through the camp’s accessible treehouse and state-of-the-art health center.
During summer camp sessions, “The Observatory” is staffed 24/7 by experienced medical professionals from leading pediatric hospitals, including Beaumont Children’s Hospital, Henry Ford Health System, Michigan Medicine’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, and Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
These doctors and nurses provide campers living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses the care they need, all without ever leaving camp.
A livestream experience is also available for those who can’t make it to the camp, located about 20 minutes north of Ann Arbor.
Guests can connect to the evening program 8-9 p.m. and participate in the live auction from anywhere.
Among the featured auction items is a five-game luxury suite package for NFL, NBA, NHL, University of Michigan Football and University of Michigan Men’s Basketball games.
As the only nonprofit of its kind in Michigan, North Star Reach relies solely on generous donors to ensure its ability to continue providing in-person and remote experiences for campers and their families.
Since opening in 2016, North Star Reach has provided more than 4,000 life-changing experiences for children with complex medical needs and their family members from across Michigan, the Chicago area, and surrounding Great Lakes states.