News You Can Use, from TLC

CAMPaign Vision2020 Approved!

Thursday, February 13, 2020 - by Stephen S. Mabry, CAE

News Release

Texas Lions Camp, Inc.
(830) 896-896-8500 |

From the Office of the President & CEO
Stephen S. Mabry, CAE

TLC Board Approves the Launch of CAMPaign Vision2020 & Beyond!

Kerrville, TX - February 13, 2020. During the February 8, 2020 Semi-Annual Board Breakfast, TLC's Board of Directors heard a report from President & CEO, Stephen Mabry concerning TLC's Master Architectural Plan and Feasibility Study for funding those plans. At the conclusion of that report, Stephen asked the Board to adopt and allow the launch of Phase I of the campaign. After hearing further reports and endorsements from the Camp Improvements Committee, Development Committee and Program Committee, the Board enthusiastically voted to proceed and TLC is now officially operating the Capital Campaign known as Vision2020 & Beyond.

ExComm Planning Session
Executive Committee Planning Session (Photo courtesy: PCC Stump Weatherford)

The initial phase will be aimed at providing one of the new bunkhouse quads, Lions Leadership Lodge, activity areas and infrastructure needed to support future operations of camp for kids. As the campaign gets underway, TLC will begin the planning and campaign design processes to ensure fundraising success over the anticipated, campaign life-span of 24-36 months which is the amount of time projected to complete the funding of Phase I.
"I am thrilled to have the Board's approval to move forward with the fundraising and ultimately the construction of new housing to meet the future needs of our campus. These projects are necessary for the health and safety of our kiddos and to take proactive measures to ensure TLC remains a relevant and vibrant service available for future generations of children," said Stephen.
It is always the right time to do something to help others, but according to at least one website focused on the Non-profit sector (The Non-ProfitPro), now is particularly a good time to open a capital campaign. Moreover, TLC has been working towards this moment since 2017 and is primed and ready to get started working on our future. Our feasibility study indicates that we CAN succeed at this and, we MUST! Future generations of children are counting on us.

Why This...Why Now?
Our founders likely had no idea what they had set in motion with their vision for TLC or even IF it would work. Despite the uncertainty of success, Lions dared to dream. As a result, here we are 70 years later having served almost 80,000 children and the model and mission has been pressure-tested and proven successful.

But, as one might expect with the time-frame of TLC, time and elements have taken their toll on the housing offered at TLC, some of which is 60+ years old. Moreover, advances in constructions materials, installations, and utilities have advanced and will permit greater accessibility, safety and technologies for kiddos engaged in TLC programs.

Consider this: according to the Texas Department of State Health Services - Statistics Division, there were 332,836 children born with a special medical condition in the State of Texas between 1999-2016. This figure does not include children born with type-1 or 2 diabetes or those who will experience a trauma, accident or illness during their childhood that will result in a life-altering disability. What we can learn from this data, is that if things stay the same or even get slightly better, very conservatively speaking, there will be at least a quarter of a million children born every 15 years who will need the services offered at Texas Lions Camp. This time-factor is also consistent with the TLC target age-range for participants.

Our plan for the future includes replacing our existing camper bunkhouses with new, accessible facilities. The below depicted schematic is an architectural depiction of the northern-most, planned quadra-plex. A cozy atmosphere, central, shaded gathering area and plenty of space are just some of the features of the bunkhouses that will take us into the next generation of TLC's service to children.


Lions Leadership Lodge - The Triple-L
The Lions Leadership Lodge is a key component of the Master Plan. Not only will TLC need to demolish and remove its only two staff dormitories (now fully depreciated and in need of repair) to make way for the North Quadra-plex, but we will also remove a duplex known as the "Smith Building" (fully depreciated and in need of repair) as well. Smith Building provides housing to one professional staff member (year-round) and our Summer Food Services Director during the summer. I don't think that I need to go into an in-depth discussion of how important adult supervision is to the successful operation of TLC's mission to provide quality, safe programming and care for children who have special medical conditions, but "The Triple-L" will do just that and much more.

Lions Leadership Lodge - The Triple-L

"The Triple-L" will begin each year by providing much needed housing for the nursing/medical staff, leadership staff and support staff needed to provide structure, supervision and care over the children engaged in our regular summer program, spanning 6 sessions and ~750 children who have special medical conditions. Later in the summer, the 75 room facility will switch gears when we open our diabetes program and become the headquarters for the 70+ medical staff members needed to provide care and medical support to manage 440 children who have type-1 diabetes.

But that's not all, "The Triple-L" will also become head-quarters and home to the leadership staff arriving to implement partner-programs that are already running, such as Camp Discovery (for children with cancer), Camp Neuron (Texas Epilepsy Foundation's camp for children who have epilepsy), and Camp David (Texas Burn Survivors' camp for children suffering a traumatic burn) just to name a few who provide services to another ~350+. If you think by this time it has already had a workout, buckle up because we are NOT done yet. This facility will make it possible for TLC to further expand its outreach to NEW partner, mission-based, non-profit organizations similar to those listed above in order to serve a wider audience of children with special needs while supporting TLC's own operations - a win-win-win in most everyone's economy.

When TLC's Summer Camp operation is not in session, "The Triple-L" will also provide new and exciting additional housing for volunteers engaged in TLC's workdays. As many of you are aware, the TLC workdays have become wildly popular and we now regularly run in excess of 600 people per workday at each of our three Spring workdays held on the 1st Saturday of March, April and May. As a result of this observation, I have recently adopted the following saying, which I invite you to likewise adopt:
"Before a single child steps foot, wheelchair, crutch or prosthetic on TLC's soil, almost 2,000 of the 34,500 Lions funding TLC arrived early just to make sure that the gate is open and the facility is ready for them to enjoy!"
I'm still not done. Some of you may be unaware that TLC has expanded its outreach through a three-prong mission that includes our 1) summer programs, 2) diabetes education and 3) disaster relief, all three of which might result in what is classed as "service-revenue". Over the course of my career, TLC has participated in relief operations involving ice, wild-fires, floods, hurricanes, and sheltering of minors, senior-citizens and 1st responders who were themselves engaged in disaster relief. I would also venture a guess that if you are unaware of this fact, you would definitely be surprised to learn that TLC has provided safe-haven shelter to more than 2,000 individuals in the last 30 years. Such operations have allowed us to expand our service-base while raising both operating support and community awareness.

While I recognize the cost of building is significant, the benefits of the new bunkhouses and "The Triple-L" facility are invaluable. TLC will garner much needed resources to offer while providing service-revenue that will discount the cost of construction over the building's useful, service-life. A win for Texas Lions Camp, the adults and volunteers who pour into the lives of TLC campers and most importantly - the children "We Serve."


Stephen is President and CEO of Texas Lions Camp, Inc. and recently celebrated 30 years of service to this 70 year-old, 501(c)(3) charitable, organization in August of 2019. TLC, Inc. has a large Board of Directors consisting of 94 voting members and over 300 volunteer members that serve on one of 10 standing committees. As a corporation, TLC has more than 200 full-time and seasonal employees (who are organized into 7 departments) and over 2,000 volunteers per year that are responsible for creating an atmosphere of success for more than 1,500 children with physical disabilities per summer. Stephen is a Certified Association Executive with the American Society of Association Executives, a past Certified Fund-Raising Executive with the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Stephen is a father of three and resides on TLC’s Kerrville campus together with his wife Shawn, who as luck would have it, is a professional editor.
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