The Sharp family’s Story

The Sharp family & CAMPFIRE CIRCLE expansion

As noted philanthropists, Mr. & Mrs. Sharp and their family have contributed to many organizations, and have a close connection to the mission of CAMPFIRE CIRCLE.

picture of counselors with campers outside at camp

The Sharps’ connection to CAMPFIRE CIRCLE

The Sharp family has been affected by cancer on more than one occasion, including Mr. and Mrs. Sharp losing their son, Christopher, in 1978. “When you see parents who’ve lost a child, they’ve lost so much,” says Mr. Sharp.

“In terms of having lost a child, you’re very sensitive to the fact that it seems so unfair for a child to have cancer,” he says.

Mr. Sharp initially learned about us  from his grandchildren, Julia and Aaron, who have volunteered as overnight camp counsellors at CAMPFIRE CIRCLE Muskoka. This connection played an important part in Mr. & Mrs. Sharp deciding to support the expansion of CAMPFIRE CIRCLE Muskoka, so more kids with cancer can experience the magic of camp.

Mr. Sharp explains, “The fact our grandchildren picked up on your camp, caused us to think this is something that is worthy to support. People have choices in terms of charitable donations and they choose what affects them personally, what they think is important. Every charity is worthy of the cause. A camp cause connected with my grandchildren. The message you convey—what it really means and the impact it makes, helping children and their parents—it’s a compelling message.”


Healing with happiness and so much more

Dr. David Malkin, senior staff oncologist, at SickKids in Toronto served as our Medical Director for many years, and calls CAMPFIRE CIRCLE “the social cure for cancer”. Mr. Sharp says he understands and relates to that conclusion.

“When you discover your child has cancer, you realize the seriousness of it. Our son’s case was very serious. It was a  devastating prognosis for us to accept. I think what happens in most of these cases is the loss of hope, which is such a terrible thing to deal with. Hopelessness is what you’re confronted with.”

“What you are able to do—you create a ray of hope. What a blessing for those people who are dealing with childhood cancer, day in and day out. To have just this freedom to believe their child is having a good day rather than a day of despair. That’s a gift.”


A message to Campers

Mr. Sharp has a message for Campers,

“Don’t forget what you got out of Camp. Camp can’t cure you, but it can help get you through this period in your life.”

More stories like this

Mary Pat’s Story

Legacy CAMPFIRE CIRCLE founder and dedicated champion, Mary Pat Armstrong shares why she believes in the magic of camp.

Wise Family Foundation’s Story

Since 2002, the Wise Family Foundation has been by our side. Their tremendous generosity and kindness have helped us make great strides in fulfilling our mission—to reach every child and family affected by childhood cancer in the province so they can experience the magic and friendship of camp.

Share your story

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

Michelle Guignard

Development Coordinator, Annual Giving