Mary Pat’s Story

Mary Pat Armstrong, founding Ooch champion

As a founding member of Camp Oochigeas, Mary Pat Armstrong has been a Champion of Ooch for 35 years. Mary Pat has been involved with Ooch since day one and when she was asked to contribute to the Ooch Muskoka expansion campaign, she said yes immediately.

mary pat with two people in front of gatts lodge

mary pat and michelle at the gala

Mary Pat admits she remains connected to Ooch “because it’s such an amazing place. Ooch is in our DNA, so it’s easy to stay involved.” She decided to support the expansion campaign “because it’s Ooch. It’s a place where somebody who is seriously ill can go and have an amazing experience, forgetting about the daily stuff that’s in their lives.” Choosing to support and name a wellness room was important to Mary Pat. She explains, “I love the concept of wellness and what that’s all about at a camp for kids with cancer.”

Before the project began, Mary Pat toured Camp with CEO Alex Robertson, and she immediately understood the need for the expansion.

 

It’s all about fun

She continues to give because “Ooch is filling a huge void in the lives of families who have kids with cancer. Ooch is meeting a need for some fun. Their lives are so filled with negative things. There’s nothing negative about Ooch – it’s all positive, it’s all fun.”

After seeing the finished campsite, Mary Pat was pleased with the results, saying “It’s a whole lot bigger, but it’s more accommodating. It’s more than a camp now. It’s a haven to go to and relax and have fun.”

Mary Pat Armstrong is a true champion of Ooch. She trusts Camp Ooch to carry out its mission to one day reach every kid affected by childhood cancer in Ontario. She will continue to believe in the Camp “where any kid with cancer can go, feel normal, do normal camp things, throw off their wigs and prostheses, and just be themselves with everybody else, knowing they’re going to be accepted and understood.”

 

Mary Pat’s message to Ooch Campers

And for those kids with cancer who get the opportunity to just be kids, Mary Pat has a message:

“Soak in as much of the Camp experience as you can each day, day by day. Always have hope for the next day.”

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Share your story

If you would like to share your Ooch story with us, please contact:

Stephanie Highfield

Senior Development Officer