Camp Massad creates leaders within the community as evidenced by it's longtime campers, counsellors, and now board members signing the Community's Endowment Book of Life.
Paula Sturrey sports a small tattoo of a palm tree, the long-time logo of Camp Massad. A tattoo is forever, she realizes. So is the impact of summer camp. And so is an endowment fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba. And that is precisely why Sturrey, a Camp Massad Board member, stepped forward to sign the Endowment Book of Life (EBOL) in 2016. “The Foundation makes it so easy to participate,” says Sturrey, who, at 31, is the youngest signer ever. “And I know that my participation will have an impact on the Foundation and on Massad. It is such a wonderful way to give.” Sturrey, a former Massad camper and staff member, was joined by fellow Board members Aaron Ingram and Dave Mahussier, and Executive Director Danial Sprintz in signing the Book. As signers, the four Massadniks – all under the age of 40 – are committing to leave a gift in their wills to the Foundation. They have each designated the income earned by their future funds to Camp Massad. For Sturrey, Camp Massad remains an integral part of her Jewish identity. “I used to come home from camp and talk Hebrew in my sleep,” she says. “And the friends I made at Massad will be my friends forever. Camp Massad is a large part of who I am.” She remembers assuming that the EBOL program was just for older members of the community. That assumption changed when fellow Massadnik, Richard Tapper Z”L, signed the Book in 2011 at the age of 34 – the youngest signer at the time. Sturrey says that his example plus a visit from Rob Berkowits, the JFM’s Director of Development & Gift Planning, convinced her to put pen to paper. “Rob came to a Board meeting to discuss the program,” says Sturrey, an oncology nurse. “He made it sound so easy. I was raised with the idea that it is important to give back, and the Endowment Book of Life is one of the best projects in the community. I believe in the community, I believe in the Foundation, and I believe in Camp Massad. Once I learned more about EBOL, it was a no-brainer.” For Board member Dave Mahussier, participating in the Endowment Book of Life is also a way for Camp Massad Board members to express their gratitude to the Jewish Foundation. “The Foundation gives us grants often. They have made it clear that they believe in what we do,” says Mahussier, an automotive marketing manager and professional photographer. “It’s important for organizations that are supported by the Foundation to encourage their people to give back.” “What I know about community, I learned at Camp Massad,” adds Sturrey. “I think our participation in the EBOL program – especially as relatively young signers – says we are grateful, we care, and we are optimistic about the future of Massad and the community.”