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Camp Corral, supported by Golden Corral restaurants, will send 2,000 children from military families to a weeklong camp free of charge. Camp Corral has grown from the pilot, one-camp program in 2011, to nine camps in 2012 and has expanded to 18 camps in 14 states for the summer of 2013. Registration priority is given to children with wounded, disabled or fallen military family members.

The free camp is for children ages 8 to 15 and will provide them with activities such as canoeing, swimming, fishing, arts and crafts, ropes course challenge, archery, horseback riding and other camp and outdoors activities. Families are only responsible for transportation to and from camp.

Camp Corral — a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation — builds on Golden Corral’s commitment to honoring our disabled American veterans and their families. Since 2011, Golden Corral has collected donations for Camp Corral from its restaurant guests, franchises and many others, with 100 percent of the donations going directly toward the Camp Corral campers’ participation.

For the last 12 years, Golden Corral has supported America’s veterans with their “Military Appreciation Monday” event. This event has raised more than $7.2 million for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) state and local chapters and served more than 3.8 million veterans a free “thank you” meal. The DAV organization is a strong supporter of Camp Corral.

“We are so thankful for the overwhelming support from Golden Corral and their guests,” said Betsey Fortlouis, executive director for Camp Corral. “It’s an honor to be able to pay it forward by sending even more deserving kids to camp this summer.”

The Camp Corral locations will be managed and staffed by the 4-H Youth Development Group and YMCA Organization. The camps are accredited by the American Camp Association or follow guidelines set by the ACA. Donations to Camp Corral are accepted at any Golden Corral restaurant, processed through PayPal or can be mailed to the Camp Corral Office in Raleigh, N.C.

To register online for camp weeks held from June to August, or to make a donation, go to For more information, call 1-855-605-1267.

• The Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation (PenFed Foundation), a nationally recognized nonprofit organization working to meet the unmet needs of military personnel and their families, recently announced that it raised more than $850,000 at its Ninth Annual Night of Heroes Gala, which took place last week at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C.

The annual event honors the men and women of our military and veterans. This year’s gala highlighted the service of the Department of Veterans Affairs, financial literacy, and the new Lee & Penny Anderson Defenders Lodge, which is a free hotel for veterans in Palo Alto, Calif., to be completed later this year.

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or email