Yesterday, Camp Smile-A-Mile employees and board members, in conjunction with BL Harbert International and Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds celebrated the groundbreaking of Camp SAM Place. The 12,500-square-foot facility will serve as a safe haven and place of respite to carry out Camp SAM’s extensive array of therapeutic programming for children diagnosed with cancer and their families.
“Camp Smile-A-Mile Place means so much to this organization and will make a lasting impact in so many ways that we can’t even imagine at this moment. We do know that in a few short months, this building will come to life and within these walls the spirit of Camp Smile-A-Mile will reside,” said Bruce Hooper Executive Director of Camp Smile-A-Mile.
BL Harbert International will lead construction on the 100-year building renovation, located at Second Avenue South. Camp SAM Place will include a community/multipurpose programming space, media room, meditation room, exercise facility, full kitchen, game room, offices and additional support facilities. The building will feature skylights and structural steel designed to look like a mountain on the stairway, inclusive of a cantilevered glass handrail.
John Hanson, BL Harbert International project manager, stated, “We are honored to play a role in the delivery of a monumental project for Camp Smile-A-Mile. This project is truly for these children and their families, and we feel privileged to assist Camp SAM carry their mission forward.”
Construction has already begun and is slated for completion by the end of the year. Camp Smile-A-Mile will remain open in their downtown location until the project is complete.
About Camp Smile-A-Mile: Camp SAM was established in 1985 to serve the children of Alabama battling cancer while also being a source of support for their families. Starting with a single, weeklong camp that welcomed patients of all ages, Camp SAM has grown to include year-round programming and seven camp sessions each summer. During the past couple of years, Camp SAM has extended its mission onto the hematology/oncology floor and in the outpatient clinic at Children’s of Alabama through our Hospital Outreach Program. Camp SAM is the only pediatric oncology organization in the state to offer such extensive programming for the entire family. In addition, we have developed a scholarship program for campers attending universities, trade and vocational schools. Since its inception 31 years ago, Camp SAM has steadily expanded its reach, now welcoming more than 400 campers from throughout the state each summer. Hundreds more children and their families participate in our other year-round programs.