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Creed Charity Wraps Its Wide-Open Arms Around Camps

Even music fans who don’t dig Creed’s style of heartfelt hard rock must find it hard not to admire frontman Scott Stapp’s ongoing humanitarian efforts. During late spring and early summer, Stapp’s foundation With Arms Wide Open (named after the Creed song of the same name) will assist two camps in their efforts to reach out to children and their parents.

The first, Comfort Zone Camp, will provide bereavement services to children who lost parents or other family in the September 11 attacks. The camp, founded in 1998, offers group healing circles, arts and crafts, nature hikes, and grief counselors to help children to mourn in a healthy way. There is no fee to attend the camp, and meals and lodging are provided. In addition, Comfort Zone Camp will pay airfare for those who wish to attend but lack the funds. Any child in the United States who suffered a loss September 11 may attend.

Comfort Zone Camp will be held April 26 to 28 at Camp Mason in Blairstown, New Jersey. To register, visit www.comfortzonecamp.org or call (866) 488-5679.

In its second program of the year, With Arms Wide Open will send 15 parents and their children to U.S. Space Camp’s Parent-Child program July 26 to 28 in Titusville, Florida. The camp features such family activities as team-building challenges, weightlessness training and a trip to Kennedy Space Center.

Children at the camp must be between the ages of 7 and 11. Parents who would like to attend the Parent-Child Program with one of their children should write the foundation at PO Box 10230, Tallahassee, FL 32302 and explain why they wish to attend and why their financial situation would prevent them from otherwise doing so. The letter must be postmarked by May 1 and should be no longer than one page long. It must include contact information and the age of the child the parent hopes to bring. Scholarship recipients will be notified in early May.

The foundation, which also sent kids to Space Camp last year, will cover transportation costs and tuition, which includes meals and accommodations. For more information, visit www.witharmswideopen.org.

Stapp helped set up With Arms Wide Open in October 2000. Guitarist Mark Tremonti and drummer Scott Phillips are on the organization’s board of ambassadors. The foundation provides grants to different organizations three times per year. Last year, donations of $10,000 each went to Adopt a Special Kid in America, an organization that places children in need with families; Human Services Inc., which works with young fathers to improve parenting and relationship skills with their children; and Vocational Foundation Inc., which helps fathers in the New York area with parenting skills, education and employment.

To date, With Arms Wide Open has provided more than $300,000 to needy children and their families.

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