Fall Friends + Family Day
Saturday, November 9, 2019
Please contact us for more information!
Spring Friends + Family Day
2020 Event Details TBA
Emily “Pippy” Krusenoski: Hey hey hey! My name is Emily “Pippy” Krusenoski and I am one of the co-directors of the Marquette chapter. This is my second year being co-director and my fourth year doing Kesem! I cannot wait to see how much our chapter grows this year! I am a senior with a biomedical sciences undergraduate degree, but am in my first year of physical therapy school here at Marquette! My favorite camp song is Little Red Wagon and my favorite camp memory is the annual Lip Sync Battle! #GoAdmin
Alaina “Sprinks” Cardella: Hello! I’m Alaina “Sprinks” Cardella from Hartland, Wisconsin. I’m a Junior studying psychology and minoring in Advertising. Kesem is a major part of my life and I’m excited to begin my journey as Director. A fun fact is that everyone in my family is left handed except one of my sisters! I Kesem for many reasons. My sister was involved with Camp Kesem Indiana and absolutely loved it, so I wanted to experience the magic she experienced!
Allison “Skippy” O’Malley: Hi! My name is Allison “Skippy” O’Malley, and I am from Chicago, Illinois. I’m a currently a senior majoring in Corporate Communication. One of my favorite camp memories was getting to tell my campers funny bed time stories every night! I’m lucky to be a part of a remarkable organization that provides everyone involved with strong friendships, a strong support system, and lifelong memories.
Annie “Meatloaf” Ernst: Hi all! My name is Annie “Meatloaf” Ernst, and I am a junior nursing student at Marquette. This is my second year doing Kesem and I am really looking forward to seeing all the great things we will accomplish. If ever asked to describe this family it would go a little something like this: a group of goofy, caring human beings that love unconditionally, care without questioning and dance as if we have won America’s Best Dance Crew at least seven times.
Erin “Tigger” Kurtz: Hi! My name is Erin “Tigger” Kurtz, and I’m from Chicago. I am majoring in exercise physiology and in the PT program. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to be a part of Kesem all 4 years at Marquette. One of my favorite memories at camp was when I was teaching one of the unit 1 boys to make a friendship bracelet. The next morning he came up to me and gave me a bracelet he had made for me. These little acts of love fill the entire week of Kesem making it so magical.
Katie “Winks” Coy: Hello! My name is Katie “Winks” Coy. I am a Chicago native and attend Marquette’s nursing program. When I am not singing camp songs or making friendship bracelets, I love to be in the outdoors. Kesem came into my life last year when I was a sophomore at Marquette. Kesem is like a second family, and it truly was a magical experience to see how close I became with all the counselors and campers in just one week. It only took me twenty years, but I finally made it to camp!
Mary Grace “Curly” Fries: My name is Mary Grace “Curly” Fries. I’m a senior from Jackson, MI studying Social Welfare and Justice. I Kesem for my younger sister (Bear) with whom I have been fortunate enough to share my last two camps. Kesem has given us a special chance to remember our mom in an uplifting way and share that feeling with others who can relate to our situation. I am so thankful I have been able to experience the joys of Kesem with my sister and all the other strong, compassionate, and inspiring people.
Killeen “Beans” McHugh: Hey! My name is Killeen “Beans” McHugh and I am a senior in the College of Nursing at Marquette University. I am lucky enough that this is my third year a part of Kesem and my second year a part of the Make the Magic team! I Kesem because the kids who go to camp deserve the support and fun of a week away from a stressful life. My favorite camp memory is in cabin chats when the kids have the ability to talk about their lives and let their stories be heard.
Erin “Dotes” Walsh: Hi! My name is Erin “Dotes” Walsh and I’m a junior majoring in Psychology. This is only my second year with Camp Kesem, but it feels like a lifetime. I Kesem for the all of the incredible kids and to give them a week of full of fun and free of the stress from home. My favorite camp memories are definitely signing camp songs, bonfires, and getting a handful of mud straight to the face in messy wars.
Alaina “S’mores” Herron: Hi, my name is Alaina “S’mores” Herron, and I am a senior in the physical therapy program! A fun fact about me is that I am 1 of 7 kids. My favorite part of camp is the nightly campfires because I get to bond with the kids over creating the best s’mores! I Kesem because these kids are the most courageous, goofy, and sweet kids that you will ever meet, and deserve to feel just like kids again.
Claire “Skittles” Smith: Hi! My name is Claire “Skittles” Smith. I am from Wheaton, IL and am a junior studying Biomedical Sciences. This will be my third year as a part of Kesem and second year as an Operations Coordinator. I Kesem to give kids a week of fun where they can just be worry-free kids. One of my favorite memories from camp last summer was letting the campers turn me into a human ice cream sundae during messy wars.
Thea “Gary Olaf” Mauck: Hey hey hey! My name is Thea “Gary Olaf” Mauck and I’m a sophomore studying Biomedical Sciences to hopefully become a Physician’s Assistant. A fun fact about me is that I enjoy singing and playing the ukulele! I kesem because unconditional love is so powerful and every single kid going through something like a parent with cancer deserves to “get loose” and feel that love. One of my favorite camp memories was the “mostest/bestest” award night when everyone was able to showcase their best talents!
George “Bunny” Baldas: My name is George Baldas. I am a junior at Marquette University studying psychology. A fun fact about me is that I used to play five different sports. My favorite part about Camp Kesem is cabin chats because I find it so inspiring and heartwarming to see the kids connect and relate to each other and build friendships with their co-campers and counselors.
Maddy “Snoopy” Philipp: Hi there! My name is Maddy Philipp, but my Kesem family calls me Snoopy. I am a senior at Marquette studying physical therapy and when I’m not at school I love to rollerblade, hike, and go to the beach! I Kesem because I know how scary a parent’s cancer can be, but I also know it is much less scary when you’re not alone. My favorite memories from camp are singing around the bonfire and being silly with my Unit 1 girlies.
Matt “Doc” Kettering: Hi! I’m Matt “Doc” Kettering and I’m a junior majoring in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Spanish. A fun fact about me is that I met President Obama one time when he golfed at the golf course I caddie at! I joined Camp Kesem last year because I want to give campers a week to just have fun and make lasting memories with other kids going through similar situations at home. Some of my favorite camp memories include competing on the Wibit, playing Gaga ball, and the empowerment ceremony.
Jessica “Lulu” Lundell: Hello! My name is Jessica “Lulu” Lundell, and I’m from Palatine, Illinois. I’m a senior majoring in nursing, and a fun fact about me is that I’m fluent in Pig Latin! As goofy as that sounds, camp is a thousand times sillier and that’s why I love it so much! My favorite camp tradition is definitely the nightly campfires, s’mores, and camp songs. Overall, I kesem to give kids who have experienced the ugliness of cancer an opportunity to just be kids and enjoy the love, laughter, and magic of camp.
Kathryn “Boo” Cichon: Hi there! My name is Kathryn “Boo” Cichon and I’m from Mt. Prospect, IL. I am a senior studying Speech Pathology and Spanish. This is my fourth year as a member of Camp Kesem and I could not be more blessed to be a part of this family! I Kesem because Kesem is love, and it outshines the darkness and loneliness brought about by cancer. Our campers are so deserving of Kesem’s magic, and I’m so grateful to be able to learn from and have fun with them!
Jack “Baloo” Kramer is from the stretching prairies and cornfields of Clive, Iowa. He is 20 years old and is currently studying Environmental studies and Economics with side studies in Marketing, German, and Anthropology. He enjoys the arts, listens to a wide variety of music, watches too many movies for his own good, and likes to read long winded books about applied sciences. He is in his eighth month of Kesem and has already found a new family here.
Erin “Pluto” Zinkula: Hey there, I’m Erin “Pluto” Zinkula! I’m from Mount Vernon, Iowa and I’m a senior studying exercise physiology. A fun fact about me is that my family has lived in England for 7 years! I Kesem to help create an environment full of laughs and magical memories as well as shoulders to lean on so that nobody has to face the effects of cancer alone. My favorite part of Kesem is seeing the friendships that form and also definitely the camp songs!
Brian “Uncle Cheddar” Kettering: Hello! My name is Brian “Uncle Cheddar” Kettering, and I am from Chicago, Illinois. I’m a junior majoring in nursing, and a fun fact about me is that I am a triplet! My favorite thing we do at camp is of course messy wars. I don’t think there will ever be a time other than at Camp Kesem that I get to throw oatmeal and coolwhip at people and not have to clean it up!
In addition to the year-round support, services, and training we receive from Kesem National,
we are grateful to those who provide support to our local Camp Kesem chapter including:
Our Advisory Board who provides ongoing guidance to our chapter’s leadership team.
Our corporate and foundation donors who provide critical resources to help fund the services we deliver locally.
The many retail and service providers who offer in-kind support for our summer camp as well as many or our year-round services.
Countless individuals – including our families and friends who honor our commitment to Camp Kesem with their financial support and unwavering encouragement.
Kesem’s national staff of over 30 professionals is involved in all aspects of establishing and supporting each of our 100+ chapters nationwide as well as the training and oversight of all college student leaders. Our leadership program has been developed over the last 17 years and, while both rigorous and demanding, is focused on providing the highest level of support, service and safety for the children who participate in our programs.
The Kesem Program Director for this chapter (see below) is involved in all aspects of camp and our additional services. While your local student leaders are your primary contact for questions, you are also welcome and encouraged to contact their Program Director with other specific questions.
Hannah joined the Camp Kesem National team as a Regional Program Director in 2019. Her passion for Kesem began when she joined the founding team at Brown University, where she served as an Alumni, PR, Marketing coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Operations Coordinator, and Chapter Co-Director her senior year. During this time, she also served as a Junior Camp Advisor and Camp Preparation Volunteer. Hannah graduated from Brown University in 2019 with a degree in Public Health. Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, she now resides in Chicago, Illinois.
This chapter's page is still under construction, check back soon!