Life After Cancer

Earlier this month Special Love held its Reunion Weekend which has always been one of my favorite events.  I’ve been part of the Special Love family for something like 27 years now and in that time I’ve seen a lot of folks pass through our organization.  It’s good to see old friends, tell old stories, and re-live some of those sun-soaked summers from so long ago.

Continue reading Life After Cancer

Camp Fantastic Golf Tournament Update

We are still planning to hold the Camp Fantastic Golf Tournament at Rock Harbor today (June 3rd) in spite of the rainy forecast, but check here for updates if the weather takes a turn for the worse.  Call us at 888-930-2707 if you have questions or need to leave an update of you own!

Thanks to Milliard Brands for the New Beds!





A Fantastic thank you to Milliard Brands in Lakewood, NJ, for donating 5 new Folding Beds for this year’s edition of Camp Fantastic in August!  We use the beds in our infirmary and in the nap room to make sure that even kids in the midst of cancer treatment can still participate in camp.  Camp Fantastic is unsurpassed in our ability to accommodate campers in all stages of treatment – and the new folding beds will help!

Take a Swing at Cancer in June

Heart Green (big)Duffers unite!  We’ll be the beneficiary of not one but THREE golf outings in early June, at locations all over Virginia:


The Camp Fantastic Golf Tournament will tee off on Friday, June 3rd, at Rock Harbor in Winchester with TWO tee-times – 8:00 am and 1:30 pm – and breathtaking views (including the heart-shaped green at left).  Check out this year’s tournament Flyer and plan to join us! Discount overnight accommodations available in Winchester – email us or call 888-930-2707 for details.


The Mark Moseley Celebrity Golf Tournament is schedule for Monday, June 6thth, at Raspberry Falls in Leesburg, VA, with a great course and LOTS of extras, including celebrity guests like NFL MVP Mark Moseley.  Click here for more information and to see 2015 photos – and plan to join us.


The 26th annual John Mansini, Sr. Memorial for Camp Fantastic is on Monday, June 20th, atMeadowbrook Country Club (a new venue!) just south of Richmond.  The Richmond Shag Club promises a beautiful day of fun, food, and wide open fairways – click here for details.


See you on the links!


Update on “Casino Royale” on April 15th


As if our annual gala wasn’t exciting enough, we’ve added two more exciting opportunities that will be waiting when guests arrive:


1. A “wine pull” (below right) where guests buy a numbered cork for $20 and win the bottle of wine that corresponds with that cork. Guests are sure to get their money’s worth and some will get a lot more than that!


2. A “money machine” (below left) where guests can buy a chance to step inside a whirling tornado of cold, hard cash and grab as much as they can before time’s up. We can’t wait to see which folks get a turn for some quick riches.

CashGrab (small)wine pull image



Still haven’t bought your ticket yet?  There’s still time (but not much) – visit and order by Wed., April 6th!



Teens & Young Adults – Make Your Winter FANTASTIC!

Teenski Banner photo
Scenes from Fantastic Winter Weekend 2015


We’re wrapping up our 33rd year of fun and friendship and now is the perfect time to reconnect with camp friends – and make new ones!  Our annual Fantastic Winter Weekend for 13-25 year-old cancer survivors (and current patients) is on Jan. 8-10 at the No. VA 4-H Center in Front Royal, VA and will feature a day-long trip to nearby Bryce Resort for skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and hanging out by the fireplace.  Plus our nights will be filled with games, music, and great conversation back at the 4-H Center.


Even if you’ve never been to a Special Love program, your camp friends are waiting for you!  Click here for more information and to see more photos from last year’s outing.  Make plans now to join us – and watch your community of support start to grow as you kick-off your New Year with a bang!

Fall into Special Love!

PumpkinsSummer’s over but the fun goes on!


Octoberfest Family Weekend is coming on Oct. 9-11 and it’s open to all families of children ages 17 and under who are within 5 years of cancer treatment.  It includes parades, crafts, campfires, and more! Click here for the flyer and plan to join us.  Parents can also join us next month for our Parent Getaway Weekend in Winchester, VA, where they’ll be pampered and treated to great conversation, great food, and great fellowship.


There’s also still time to join us for these fun-raisers:

Fall in Love 10K Run & 5K Run/Walk (NEW DATE: Saturday, October 31st) – Washington, DC)

Pat Collins Memorial Camp Fantastic Open (Monday, October 12th – 1757 Golf Club, Dulles, VA)


Have a Fantastic Fall – hope to see you at a camp event soon!

Follow the Camp Fantastic Action Here!

The “University of Camp Fantastic” was an amazing week – if you missed any of the action, check out the highlights on our Facebook page or by visiting the media links on the Camp Fantastic web page.  Thanks to all who made it possible, including the Alexander & Margaret Stewart Trust, The Richmond Shag Club, KOA Care Camps, and WRC’s “Camp 4 Kids,” plus all the generous clubs and individuals who provided a campership in 2015.  The results of your investment are as plain as the smiles on the faces of our 103 campers!


CF Logo (cropped)

Some Imaginative Kids

Check out this article from today’s Winchester Star – about a group of 8th graders who raised money to sponsor a camper to Camp Fantastic!

DI Group

Problem-Solving Local Teams Headed To DI Global Finals


Posted: April 16, 2015




The Winchester Star


Members of the Young and Wreckless Destination Imagination team from Frederick County Middle School are going to the global finals May 20-23 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. As part of their challenge, the students raised $895 for Special Love, which holds camps for children with cancer. Team members are (back row from left) Natalie Rowe, 13, Aliya Leasock, 14, Haley Summer, 14, and Nathan Leasock, 11; and (front row, from left) Kierra Mauzy, 13, and Danielle Ritter, 13. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)




Students from Winchester and Frederick County public schools aren’t just thinking locally — they’re thinking globally.


Teams from Quarles Elementary and Frederick County Middle schools are heading to Destination Imagination’s Global Finals, billed as the largest creative-thinking and problem-solving competition in the world.


The competition is set for May 20-23 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. More than 1,300 teams from about 15 countries will compete in the international competition.


Destination Imagination (DI) is a national nonprofit organization that encourages teams of learners to think creatively while competing in challenges.


Teams choose a challenge from five categories — science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); improvisation; visual arts; service learning, and early learning — and create projects that showcase their creative approach to solving the challenge. The projects are solely designed and planned by the students.


The teams showcase their solutions during competition.


The Young and Wreckless team also focused on service learning. The six-member team set a goal of raising $750 for Special Love, a nonprofit organization with an office in Winchester that sponsors camps for children with cancer.


“We all know someone who’s struggled with or lost someone to cancer,” said eighth-grader Aliya Leasock. “We could relate to it.”


The team, which raised $895, organized a fundraiser in December that allowed people to smash a donated vehicle with a sledgehammer.


“Hitting the car was to symbolize crushing cancer,” Aliya said.


Kierra Mauzy, also an eighth-grader, is looking forward to heading to the global competition.


“I’m excited because I’ve never been out of Virginia or West Virginia,” she said, adding that she’s never even been to the beach.


— Contact Amy Alonzo at