RICHMOND, Va. -- For more than two decades, the Richmond-based Comfort Zone Camp has helped thousands of children through the grieving and healing process after the loss of a parent or sibling.
The camp was founded in 1999 by Lynne Hughes, who lost both her parents at a young age and was determined to help provide support and counseling to children in need.
Shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Hughes expanded her camps to New Jersey, Washington and Boston to help children who were impacted by loss.
Over the years, many of the 9/11 campers have returned to the CZC as volunteers and staff members. This weekend, the camp will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, with a special remembrance ceremony and camp gathering.
"I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it," says CZC founder Lynne Hughes. "They've come through this and it doesn't mean they don't have some scars from it, but they've come through it and they're very lovely adults. Just to see them grown up and so many of them are in healing professions, which I think is just fascinating. They want to pay it forward, to return all the kindness and nurturing that was given to them and help guide others through tough situations.”
In honor of CZC and in remembrance of 9/11, CBS 6 is donating a portable outdoor speaker to the camp to assist with music and outdoor celebrations and announcements.
The camp will also receive some other donations to create a memorable camp experience for children, teens and their families.
"Thank you, that's awesome,” exclaimed Hughes. “We need that and we'll use that this very weekend. Thank you so much, you guys are so good to us!”
CBS 6’s Tracy Sears plans to spend September 11 with the campers and will have a special report on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
The story will air on Wednesday, September 15 as part of her “You Are Not Alone” series.