Tanager Place in Cedar Rapids has announced they'll be expanding Camp Tanager thanks to the largest single gift the children's organization has received in its 140-year history.

Jared and Carol Hills of Cedar Rapids, pictured above, have announced a $1.8 million legacy gift. Why Tanager Place? Carol and Jared both had their own reasons.

Carol says,

I first became aware of Tanager Place when I worked as a school nurse, and learned about the children who went to what was then called Camp Good Health... Children need guidance … and we realize some of their home lives are not ideal. Even a week of camp can be very helpful. I think it is obvious, when you have former campers returning as counselors, that a bond was created and that Camp Tanager does good work.

Jared added,

We were drawn to support Tanager Place because of the good work the organization does for kids – and the work with kids at Camp Tanager was especially appealing to us... We saw something that would benefit every child, and then we learned that some children had to be turned away because there simply weren’t enough resources to meet existing needs... We feel very blessed to be where we are, and blessed to be able to share it with others.

According to Tanager Place, Camp Tanager, four miles east of Cedar Rapids, will see a variety of upgrades thanks to the donation. Here are the plans for Camp Tanager:

  • Design and construction of a Jared and Carol Hills Grand Lodge. It will be able to accommodate all meals during camp, along with sing-alongs, dances, and large-scale programming. It will include an industrial kitchen and seat up to 300.
  • Design and construction of a new cabin, which will allow for approximately 168 more children to attend camp. The cabin will include an underground storm shelter, beds for 24 campers and a kitchenette.
  • Increased camp sustainability through facility rental revenue.

Tanager Place provides day and overnight experiences, many that are scholarship-based and free. Summer programs at the camp are enjoyed by more than 1,000 kids annually while in excess of 2,000 are served overall. The camp also hosts medical camps that are specialized like hemophilia and diabetes camps.