(NECN: Melissa Toupin, Oxford, Mass.) - The unseasonably warm weather may be taking away summer opportunities for children.
The Camp Joslin Ice Derby on Long Pond has been canceled, and the camp relies on donations from the derby for their summer activities.
“I had to cancel the derby unfortunately. The DCR, family safety, can't go on ice, it's unsafe,” said derby founder Daniel Kenney.
He said 500 people attend the derby each year, raising thousands of dollars.
All the funds go to families who otherwise would not be able to afford sending their children to the Oxford summer camp for children with diabetes.
Kevin Wilcoxen, executive director of the Barton Center, said the camp helps teach the kids how to live and cope with the diagnosis of diabetes, in a friendly environment.
“It's a place where you feel safe, not different. Not isolated. Many of these kids at school, they have to explain their technology and it makes them ‘different.’ At camp, they are not ‘different,’” said Wilcoxen.
Over the years, the camp has come to rely on the money raised by the derby. Now, fundraisers are left scrambling.
“Other than capital improvements, campership is our biggest need. Half of our kids receive some help to come to camp,” Wilcoxen said.
Kenney and the center will continue to raise funds and are optimistic they can get $5,000, the amount needed to send four kids to camp.
He said it's the first time in the eight years of the ice derby the event had to be canceled due to weather, but that the mission of helping kids with diabetes will continue.
“Lots of work getting all the donations, putting it together,” said Kenney, “then, to not be able to raise the $10,000, it's tough.”