Camp Aranzazu to host virtual concert

Camp Aranzazu activity leader Emilie Killebrew helps a camper unhook the catfish she caught on Copano Bay in this June 2019 file photo. The Rockport camp provides retreats and camping experiences for adults and children with chronic illnesses and special needs.

Rockport’s Camp Aranzazu is hosting a live-streamed concert in September to raise money for camping and learning retreats for children and adults with chronic illnesses and special needs.

This year, the 12th annual Zazu BBQ will a virtual event, where supporters can watch a performance from Americana couple Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis on Sept. 26.

“Zazu is a Camp Aranzazu tradition, where we invite the community to join us at camp and to support some of Texas’ most vulnerable citizens,” said the camp’s president Virginia Ballard in a statement. “As much as we like to show off our beautiful camp, hosting 350 people for dinner and a concert isn’t a wise idea this year; even so, we promise to still make it a fun evening. And you won’t even have to get up from your couch.”

The 90-minute show will also include testimonials from campers and an online auction, according to a news release. Top supporters can enjoy a private concert at the 104-acre camp, and other donors can receive party packages with barbecue and drinks to enjoy the concert from home.

Camp Aranzazu has not been able to host in-person programming since March. The proceeds from September’s concert will allow staff to create alternative programming and allow the camp to reopen as usual once it is safe to do so. Last year, the concert raised more than $130,000.

“Most of us are probably feeling a little isolated and disconnected at the moment. The children and adults with special needs and chronic illnesses whom we serve struggle with that feeling every day,” Ballard said. “So while we also can’t host them at camp right now, we are continuing to find new and creative ways to serve these children and adults. This event is a way for the community to help us do so.”

Almost 27,000 kids and adults have participated in the camp’s recreational therapy programs since 2006.

Those who want to register for the event can go online to camparanzazu.org/events.

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